Another fast bowler from Pakistan, what's new?
Mohammad Hasnain is just 18 years old and can clock over 150kph, which is getting people excited. He shot into prominence in the Pakistan Super League, playing for Quetta Gladiators, following his youth career with Pakistan Under-16s and Under-19s. He is from Hyderabad, a city 150km east of Karachi. He hails from the oldest part of the city, Kali Mori, and his father was a club cricketer.
Hyderabad isn't known for producing fast bowlers?
Correct. Hasnain is the first ever quick to come from this area. He made this name overnight with his pace this year by delivering the fastest ball at the PSL. A few other players from the region have represented Pakistan. Legspinner Rizwan Ahmed played one ODI in 2008 against Zimbabwe in Sheikhupura; opener Faisal Athar, who is now a coach, played one ODI against New Zealand during a tri-nation series in Sri Lanka; Sharjeel Khan, another talented opening batsman, went onto play one Test, 25 ODIs and 15 T20s before getting banned for his involvement in spot fixing.
We'd never really heard Hasnain's name before PSL. Is he is surprise package?
He was always in the system starting from the Under-16 level and was first identified by Iqbal Imam, a Hyderabad regional head coach, who watched him in a trial and picked him up for the regional U-16 side. He was part of the Pakistan U-16 squad that toured Australia in 2015 and then made his way into the U-19 squad for Asia Cup in 2016 where he played one game. He has come up alongside Shaheen Shah Afridi throughout his youth career. The Pakistan U-16 team's former coach Mohammad Masroor recalls the tour to Australia in 2015: "We did well on the tour and during one of the matches at the Bradman Ground near Sydney, Steve Waugh came to watch his son Austin. When he saw Shaheen and Hasnain in action, he predicted the two boys will make an impact at international level."
He wasn't picked up in PSL draft in the first place so how did he make it into the squad?
Naseem Shah, a 16-year-old, was the original pick after being elevated from the U-19 circuit but injury cut short his PSL ambitions. He is presently undergoing a rehabilitation program at the NCA to recover from a back injury, which allowed Hasnain to be named as his replacement. He made the opportunity count and showed excellent temperament, rising to the big occasion with 3 for 30 to be Man of the Match in the final against Peshawar Zalmi in Karachi. He took seven wickets in five pool games and ended the season with 12 at 17.58.
He played U-16 in 2015 but he hasn't played much cricket in the last four years. Why?
He was dogged by a back injury and spent nearly a year recovering from it at the NCA. He was picked up by Islamabad United but missed out last season because of the injury. He travelled with Pakistan to Sri Lanka for the U-19 Asia Cup in 2016 and then in 2018 to Bangladesh but didn't have much success. He played a lot of tape-ball cricket, which according to his regional coach caused a strain in his back and he was later stopped from playing that form of the game. He played two first-class games for Pakistan Television before the PSL.