Mohammad Hassan Azad
January 07, 1994, Quetta, Balochistan
Left hand bat
Right arm offbreak
An obdurate opening batsman, Hassan Azad made his breakthrough as a professional in 2019, when he signed a summer contract with Leicestershire as a 25-year-old and surged to the top of the run-scoring charts in Division Two of the County Championship.
Born in Quetta, Azad's family moved to England when he was 15, and having played for Pakistan Under-15s during his childhood, he emailed ahead to alert Nottinghamshire of his arrival. But the runs didn't follow, and he was let go by the club's academy at the end of 2014.
He began to prepare for the possibility of another career by starting a Chemical Engineering degree at Loughborough University, and spent his five years there continuing his development as a batsman under the watchful eye of MCCU coach Russell Cobb. He made a 237-ball 99 against a strong Notts attack on his second first-class appearance, and used early-season games against counties as an opportunity to impress. A painstaking 48 against Leicestershire followed by some eye-catching form in university games earned him a trial at the club, and he hit 179 not out chasing 399 in a 50-over game against Kent in his first appearance for the 2nd XI.
More second-team runs meant he was offered a six-month deal for the 2019 season, and he quickly made his presence felt in the first team. After a first-class hundred against his Loughborough team-mates in April, he went straight into the Championship side and played every game, making twin tons against Gloucestershire in June. By the end of the season, only Dom Sibley had scored more runs or faced more balls across either division, and he earned another year on his contract at Grace Road.
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