Mohammad Hasnain's selection for the World Cup is the ultimate Pakistani cricketing fairytale. Plucked from almost obscurity by Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Quetta Gladiators as a replacement player in this year's edition, the 19-year-old bowled with aggression, skill and at a rapid pace in the T20 event. Hasnain regularly clocked close to 150kph at the PSL, where he hurried even the best batsmen and unsurprisingly caught the eye of Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur and the selection committee.
Following an impressive PSL, Hasnain, much to the delight of pace-bowling fans, was subsequently picked for the five-match ODI series against Australia in the UAE in March. He played three matches against Australia in what turned out to be an awful series for Pakistan, taking two wickets at an average of 78 and at an economy-rate of 6.78, but he did enough to convince Arthur that he was worth a gamble, ready for the World Cup and should be picked ahead of Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari.
Hasnain has only played three List A matches, all of which are internationals and has only played two first-class matches, both of which were in September 2018 for his domestic team Pakistan Television. Hasnain's selection can be termed risky as this teenager is raw, untried, but he gives Pakistan the X-factor in the bowling department which is something that over the years has made their bowling attacks very special.
He comes into the World Cup without any baggage, fear or concerns and that could well work to his advantage. He is a cricketer who could light up the World Cup and become a household name if given the opportunity to. Hasnain and Shaheen Shah Afridi both of whom are 19 could be the youngest new-ball pairing at the World Cup, but at the same time they could be the most effective and eye-catching.
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