|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Fantasy||Mobile|
Azhar Mahmood on idols, tape-ball cricket, and his first century
Interview by Jack Wilson
July 20, 2013
Quick Singles : 'I always keep one shirt from every team I play for'
Players/Officials: Azhar Mahmood
That has to be Imran Khan. I grew up watching him and he was simply incredible for Pakistan. He was a hero to me as a kid. I watched the way he bowled and the way he batted and I just wanted to be him. I'm nowhere near the standard that Imran was - but I've always tried to play like he did.
First cricket game
I loved cricket when I was growing up and I played it whenever I could. My first game would have been back home in Pakistan where we played tape-ball cricket. We'd tape a tennis ball and start playing that way. I remember those days well - it was my first introduction to the game.
First time I realised I was good enough to play for Pakistan
It must have been when I played for Pakistan Under-20s. I had played a lot of cricket as I grew up but that was the time I sensed that I could actually fulfil the dream of playing for my country.
When I was playing proper club cricket I scored one when I was 16. Of course it contained a few sixes! I used to hit a long ball when I was that age, at that time in my career. There were some clean hits in there but maybe the boundary was just smaller back then.
First Test cap
I've still got it and I'll always treasure it. It was such a proud day for me and my family. There was no presentation like there are these days but it was a wonderful feeling. My Test debut was pretty unforgettable. We were playing South Africa at Rawalpindi and I scored a hundred in the first innings. Not only was it my first Test hundred it was my first first-class hundred as well.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Rewind: Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it
Review: Gideon Haigh comes out with another set of essays that sound uncannily prescient about the way the game is headed
Despite recent successes, visually impaired players are not getting the backing that could turn them into professionals
Numbers Game: The Indian T20 tournament presents an opportunity to both to show their class once again
Hassan Cheema: The Emirates have been Pakistan's home away from home for three decades. To see the IPL being played there must feel like betrayal
ESPNcricinfo picks five players for whom this IPL is of bigger significance
The Plays of the day from the match between Kolkata and Mumbai, in Abu Dhabi
The Plays of the day from the match between Chennai and Punjab in Abu Dhabi