Many outside Pakistan will not have heard of 31-year-old Abid Ali. In fact, many within Pakistan would have been surprised to see the right-handed top-order batsman included in Pakistan's squad for the World Cup.
However, an impressive century against Australia on ODI debut cemented Abid's place in the squad after impressing Mickey Arthur with his skill levels, professionalism, attitude and willingness to work on his game. The 112 runs Abid scored on international debut made many sit up and take note and wonder why he had been left in the wilderness of Pakistan's domestic cricket for so long.
Strong on both sides of the wicket, wristy, with good balance and with the ability to pounce on anything loose, Abid gives Pakistan the added option of the third opener. Whilst Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman will be Pakistan's first choice-openers, Abid's presence will make both batsmen realise that they are in a battle for the opening spots.
Abid has done the hard yards in domestic cricket having made his debut in 2005 at the age of 17. He has been a consistent performer in all formats in domestic cricket, having impressed many observers and has an impressive List A average of just under 40. His selection for the recently-concluded ODI series against Australia was well-deserved and despite a duck in his second and most recent appearance for Pakistan, Inzamam-ul-Haq and his co-selectors as well as coach Arthur saw enough in Abid's batting to pick him for the prestigious World Cup. In summary, Abid is the sort of a wholehearted cricketer and a complete batsman who, if given the chance to show his skills, could well surprise many at the World Cup.