Pakistan news April 29, 2013

Ahmed Jamal wins nationwide pace competition


Ahmed Jamal, the Pakistan Customs fast bowler, has won a 'King of Speed' competition, a nationwide search to unearth new pace talent. His fastest delivery was clocked at 143kph and won him Rs 1 million in prize money.

Jamal, 24, is from Abbottabad in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 68 miles north of Islamabad. He took five wickets on first-class debut for Pakistan Customs in 2009, and has 127 wickets in 34 games.

Jamal was one of four quicks selected for Wasim Akram's camp from a countrywide talent hunt earlier this month. The others were Muhammad Imran from Karachi, who bowled 136 kph, and Faisalabad's Abdul Ameer and Faisal Yaseen, who both bowled at 135kph.

"I am thrilled and very happy," Jamal said in Karachi. "My feet were on the ground before I won this and will remain on the ground after winning the prize as I want to make a name for myself. I had planned to spend this money, but I am not going to disclose it now."

Jamal was among 24 bowlers who were undergoing a 10-day training camp led by Wasim Akram. He said Shoaib Akhtar was his inspiration. "I was always inspired by Shoaib Akhtar who was very fast so I wanted to bowl like him."

At the camp, Akram worked with the country's best fast bowlers, including members of the national team and some new talent. It was organized ahead of the Champions Trophy in England, amid growing concerns about the depth of Pakistan's fast-bowling reserves. "These ten days are the best of my life," Jamal said. "What I have learnt during these days are a big thing for me and I want to move from strength to strength."

Akram was optimistic about the future of fast bowling in Pakistan after the camp. "I am happy to see that we still have great fast bowling talent in Pakistan, we just need to find that talent and polish our youngsters," he said. "Fast young bowlers like Ahmed Jamal are the future of this country; they can become part of our national team and take Pakistan cricket to new heights of glory.

"It was a short camp and we will not stop here. I feel captain's role is very important in grooming the fast bowlers, if a bowler is low on confidence then the captain can lift it by backing his bowler and that raises the confidence.

"I am sure that [Mohammad] Irfan and Junaid [Khan] will improve with time," Akram said. "Irfan is a rare talent and should be used properly and Junaid is also showing great improvement. I feel the boys showed great passion for learning and because of that my passion also increased. I think we have talent in pace department."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Mashallah Ahmed Bahi Best of Luck.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    good luck to jamal ahmed in 3 to4 years he will inshallah become the world.s fastest bowler. javed sani,usa.

  • Ali on April 30, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    Sohail tanvir NEVER got up to 145Kph I don't think he action would allow it.

    Whilst 143Kph isn't particularly quick, he is still 24 and pace continues to improve up to 30-33 - Shoaib bowled his fastest between 2002-2003 or so and that would have made him 27-28 years old. Likewise Brett Lee bowled his fastest towards late 20s so still time for him to speed up. Jamal is 6"4 so will get natural bounce but of he can speed up by 5-10kph over next 3-4 years he will give himself a really good chance of making it.

    Of course line as length is important but pace is arguably even more important as so much of cricket is a psychological battle and having pace upsets a batsmanship mindset as no one likes facing a ball 90Mph whistling past their head!

    So Ahmed Jamal - well done but the hard work begins now!

  • Faizan on April 30, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @Sports4Youth: Sohail Tanvir has never been near 145 kmph.

  • Amyn on April 30, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    I am assuming, he bowls right arm.

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    well he isn't bad if its 143 on the worst pitches ever in the world of Pakistan then im sure hes gonna be a rocket in perth or etc..........we don't need bowling for godsake bring some good batsmen only they will help us from defeats........... we are always good with bowl only the thing is that we never get runs on boards which costs us the match

  • Zafar on April 30, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    My question to Wasim Akram is that, do he think that this new talent can further be improved in terms of enhancing his speed to 150 KM/hr. If not than most of the bowlers every where in he world are bowling at this speed. So what is the difference. The speed + a good line and length and adaptation according to the conditions makes a bowler a worth, not only the speed.

  • waseem on April 29, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Its ordinary 143 kph every bowler is bowling at this speed. I am depressed we can not find real speedstar in pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    The interesting thing is that till last week he clocked 138 before the final trial and it gone 5Kph+ in a week ...that might I repeat might be because of the training he has had.All luck to the lad.

  • Dummy4 on April 29, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    Well done Ahmed Jamal..... Proud of u