December 30, 1981, Karachi, Sind
Right hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Middle order Batter
A gutsy strokeplayer with a sound defence and an attitude to boot, Faisal Iqbal was, for a while, an exciting middle-order prospect for Pakistan. A prolific performer at junior level, Iqbal's elevation into the Test team was nevertheless criticised on the grounds of nepotism - he is Javed Miandad's nephew. But he demonstrated that he was worth that Test cap with an aggressive counter-attacking 83 off 85 balls in Pakistan's first Test against Australia in Colombo in 2002-03. He was particularly impressive against Shane Warne, using his feet superbly to seize the momentum for Pakistan, and he did it all with a swagger that was refreshingly reminiscent of his uncle. He couldn't repeat his performance in the rest of that series, or in the two Tests he played in South Africa in 2002-03.
A hiatus followed from the national side though he remained a performer at domestic level. It seems to have finally paid off when in 2005-06, on the back of an astonishingly successful domestic season, Iqbal was called up to play for Pakistan against India in his hometown of Karachi, as a replacement for the injured Inzamam-ul-Haq. A failure in the first innings meant pressure in the second was plentiful; it didn't seem to affect him as with some assured, trademark backfoot play and composed defence, he scored an attractive maiden Test hundred, eventually assuring Pakistan a comfortable win. He got another opportunity in the very next Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo and didn't disappoint; if his previous noteworthy innings had been attacking ones, here was a good, honest rearguard, as his 60 helped Pakistan see off Murali on the last day to secure an honourable draw. Soon after, at Lord's, he was called on to display similar traits to eke out another battling last-day draw. Fifties in three of four Test innings appeared to have put him back in the mix for a permanent spot in the Pakistan middle order for a while.
It wasn't to be, though. He was selected for the tour to Australia that followed, and besides his captain Mohammad Yousuf, was the only player to cross 40 in a hopeless chase of 422 in the boxing Day Test. But the calamitous defeat in the Sydney Test that followed would finally prove his undoing. There was nothing particular he did to invite blame, but he would manage a mere 7 in a chase of 177 that saw Pakistan slump to a devastating defeat. he was never picked internationally again, though he would continue with a stellar first-class career for nearly nine further years, racking up over 12,000 runs without quite being able to break into the international side again. He came close on a few occasions, and was included in the Pakistan squad that toured South Africa and Zimbabwe in 2013, but wouldn't play an international match.
Since retiring in 2018, he has turned his gaze to coaching, and has served as Karachi Kings' batting coach for the past two seasons.
Batting & Fielding