December 16, 1981, Gujranwala, Punjab
Right hand bat
Another of Pakistan's prodigiously gifted players, but the suspicion was that Imran Nazir offers more genuine promise than most. An opener who is particularly strong off the back foot, he loves forcing through the covers. An aggressive approach has had him labelled as a one-day player, but Imran didn't fare badly in his first few Tests.
Eventually, however, his technique and lack of footwork was found out rather cruelly by Glenn McGrath and Co in two Tests against Australia. Imran was then upstaged by the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar, but a series of consistent domestic performances saw him recalled to the national squad against South Africa in 2006-07. A typically explosive 39-ball 57 saw him get selected for the 2007 World Cup squad though three failures in that series took the gloss off a touch. He is one of the best fielders in Pakistan, though, and is supposed to be the first Pakistani to cartwheel (while intercepting a square cut)
A career-best 160 against Zimbabwe in the World Cup saw Nazir being retained for the following tours to Abu Dhabi and Scotland while also being selected for training camps held in Pakistan. Nazir was also named in the squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship and was awarded a central contract in July 2007 before representing Pakistan in the home ODI series against South Africa. He later joined the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League and did very well for the Lahore Badshahs, but when the PCB pardoned players to have severed ties with the ICL, Nazir was soon called back into the ODI side.
Osman Samiuddin July 2009
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