October 08, 1985, Karachi
Left hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
Top order batter
Fawad Alam, son of Pakistan's famous first-class cricketer Tariq Alam, made his first-class debut at the age of 17. He was duly picked to represent Pakistan at the U-19 World Cup based on his performances with Pakistan Customs and Karachi on the domestic circuit.
An unbeaten 43 in the semi-final against India not only guided Pakistan to the final (which they went on to win), but also marked his status as an immensely talented left-handed allrounder (something that Pakistan agonisingly lacks).
He was then named in the U-19 squad to play the touring Sri Lankans and South Africa Academy teams. That same year, he was invited to join the National Cricket Academy (NCA), a pool of talented individuals to be groomed for the elite level.
His real breakthrough was the 2006-07 season where Fawad outshone the rest by miles. He guided Karachi Dolphins to the final of the Twenty20 Cup (losing to defending champions Sialkot Stallions) where he not only grabbed a five-wicket haul and scored a valiant 54, but also went home with the Man of the Final, Man of the Series, Best Batsman and Best Bowler awards.
He also scored heavily in the longer version of the game namely the Quaid-e-Azam trophy where he finished as the fifth highest run-scorer. In the shorter version of the game, he turned out to be a useful ingredient of the National Bank mix that lifted the Patron's Cup, almost carried Karachi Dolphins to the ABN AMRO Cup final (second highest run-scorer and highest wicket-taker in the competition).
After an intense, but profitable, first-class season, Fawad was selected to captain the Pakistan Academy's tour of Bangladesh where his performance was deemed adequate enough for a call to the national squad. Fawad, however, failed to shine on his international debut in the searing Abu Dhabi conditions aged 21. Surprisingly not required to bowl at all, Fawad also fell first ball to cap off a lacklustre debut. The selectors, however, kept their trust in the young allrounder, giving him opportunities in Pakistan's limited-overs squads. Fawad was the leading run-getter during Pakistan Academy's tour of Africa in September-October 2008; he scored 302 not out in a four-day game against Kenya.
Faras Ghani October 2008
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