December 25, 1983, Burewala, Punjab
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Mohammad Azharullah was extolled as one of the surprise stars of 2013 on England's professional circuit. A fast-medium bowler, hailing from Peshawar, he emerged from a lengthy grounding in league cricket to set the county scene alight. Azhar's wicket-taking knack was particularly notable in Twenty20 cricket, where he finished as the competition's top wicket-taker by a distance, with 27 victims at an average of 12.6. A player few had heard of was voted at the end of the season as Northants' T20 Players' Player of the Year and he was also PCA national award. County professionals soon came to respect him as a tough competitor, especially bowling at the death.
Azharullah had also built a solid first-class record in Pakistan - 190 wickets at 26 apiece - when Northants signed him as a non-overseas player, on account of his UK passport. He was recommended to the county by their all-rounder, James Middlebrook, who was aware of his good reputation in Yorkshire league cricket. T20 wickets were a little harder to find in the NatWest Blast in 2014 but he turned in a stalwart stint in the Championship, bowling 462.1 overs - both himself and Andrew Hall bowled twice as many overs as anybody else - as Northants proved to be the whipping boys of the First Division.
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