Peshawar Zalmi's Ibtisam Sheikh has been one of the more-talked about prospects in the PSL this year - as much for his babyish looks as his disciplined legspin and electric catching in the deep. He was virtually anonymous a few weeks ago. Here, ESPNcricinfo answers any questions you may have about an exciting future prospect.
How did Ibtisam Shiekh make his way into the spotlight?
A baby-faced 19-year-old legspinner bowling to a man whose career alone is longer than 19 years - Kumar Sangakkara - will get anyone's attention. Brimming with confidence, he conceded only five off his first five balls, ending up with figures of 0 for 31. In the next game against Islamabad United, he bowled a remarkable spell, picking up three wickets to set up victory for Peshawar Zalmi. He took a stunning catch in his third match against Karachi Kings, running forward from third man, drawing more attention to himself.
Where is he from?
He was born in Hyderabad, a city with a hot desert climate with warm weather round the year. The town is situated 150 kilometres away from Karachi and is the second-biggest city in Sindh - after Karachi. The city has produced only one Test cricketer in Sharjeel Khan, but has hosted a few notable cricketing games. Until 1991, it held a record for the highest partnership for the third wicket between Javed Miandad and Mudassar Nazar. The city last hosted a Test in 1984 and the game was Test cricket's 1000th match, with Pakistan and New Zealand playing out a draw.
The first match of the 1987 World Cup kicked off in Hyderabad, with the opening game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka also hosted at Niaz Stadium Hyderabad. The city also witnessed the first ever hat-trick in ODI cricket - by the Pakistan fast bowler Jalal-ud-din. Previously, legspinner Rizwan Ahmed and batsman Faisal Athar, who, too, hail from the city, went on to play for Pakistan in one-off ODIs.
How has he done in the domestic circuit?
He began playing with a tennis ball in a small school ground in front of his house and picked up hard ball cricket at the age of 13. He got into the inter-district Under-19 in 2014 and took 41 wickets at 11.97 finishing his first competitive domestic cricket tournament as the third leading wicket taker. He reappeared in the inter-district Under-19 in 2015, picking up 37 wickets at 8.72. He earned a promotion to inter-regional level, and played one-day and two-day events, picking up 13 one-day wickets at 12.53. He was taken on by Faisalabad team during a draft for the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, Pakistan premier fist class tournament. He played two first-class matches last season, taking 4 wickets.
What made him take up legspin ?
He started playing hard-ball cricket, at 13, as a fast bowler, but his coach Mohammad Shafqat Baloch transformed him into a legbreak bowler. "It was tough for me to pick up legspin, which is the most difficult thing in cricket after wicketkeeping. But I bowled with control, and I started to enjoy it," he said. "I didn't have much inspiration growing up, as I was just keen on being a batsman, but with legspin, I started watching the best in the world - Shane Warne. I was too young and have blurred memories of him [right now]. But the more I saw him, the more he became my idol. I started watching his videos, picking up everything he used to do with the ball. He was cool, and I enjoyed watching him."
How did he make the cut into the PSL?
He was warming the bench throughout the first-class season. As Mohammad Akram, Peshawar Zalmi's head coach was out scouting for a legspinner, he saw Ibtisam in Islamabad and asked him to bowl a few overs in the nets. He was spotted there and they decided to give him a go. Previously, Peshawar had also spotted Hasan Ali - who went on to represent Pakistan, and became the top bowler in the ICC ODI rankings within the space of one year.
Is he an immediate prospect for Pakistan?
Not really. He might have shown a glimpse of his talent but it may take some time for him to develop further. Akram has promised a follow up on his progress, and hoped to take him under the wings of the National Cricket Academy. "I want to see myself playing for Pakistan in the next two years," he told ESPNcricinfo. "You play cricket,, hoping to represent your country at the highest level. It's all about opportunity and here I am. Two years ago, I was just a player playing my cricket with no eyes on me. I know I have to keep on performing and I believe I will be there some day."