Pakistan has been producing some of the finest cricketers- Fakhar Zaman is clearly one of them
Fakhar Zaman was a sailor before he started to walk on pitches of International matches. Lately, he became the fastest batsman to score 1,000 runs in ODIs. Zaman is known as ‘Fauji’ in his team, the name bearing the impression of his early profession. A left-handed batsman, he plays as the opener of team Pakistan. He also bowls as a slow left-arm orthodox player. Apart from cricket he played alongside the national team, Zaman has some experience of league cricket other than Pakistan Super League and Global T20 League of South Africa. In fact, his stint in international cricket so far is short, yet, he is fast in reaching record feats. Fakhar Zaman’s jersey number is 39.
Born on 10 April 1990, Zaman is now 28 years old. He spent his childhood in Katlang of Mardan District, belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a northwestern province of Pakistan. He lived in the countryside until the age of 16, after which, he moved to Karachi, completing matriculation. Zaman had a strong addiction towards cricket since childhood but his father wanted him to focus on studies. After his family moved to Karachi, he was trained to be a sailor at Pakistan Navy School. It was financial crisis, which made him to join defense, but he always wanted to be a cricket player.
Young Zaman joined Navy before being a cricketer, but he could not remain obscure for long
In 2007, Zaman joined Navy. But soon his cricketing talent emerged in navy as well, while playing inter-departmental cricket. He approached the coach of Pakistan Naval Cricket team, Azam Khan, with a plea to play cricket in bigger tournaments. In the first U-19-inter-district match he played, the young player knocked a half century. Seeing his dedication, Azam Khan realized that Zaman’s future is in fact in cricket. The coach even had to convince Zaman’s family to let Fakhar play. Khan than made an application to Navy to release him as a sailor and re-induct him as a professional sportsman. Thus, in 2008, he was released and then re-joined as a sportsman. There was also another condition that he could be rehired as a sailor; if he fails at the game.
It was in 2013 Zaman abandoned his career in navy although it was a ‘tough decision’. He started playing professional cricket for local teams of Karachi, U-19 and U-23, and also Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Side by side, he played in teams like Abbottabad Falcons and Baluchistan. After several successful campaigns, Zaman made it to the First-Class Team of Pakistan.
Zaman’s first record was in 2016 Pakistan Cup, where he became the second-highest scorer. Later, in 2016-17 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he played several impressive innings earning call for upcoming PSL. In 2017 season of the league, he was picked by Lahore Qalandars. In the tournament, he played under Brendon McCullum. His excellent form attracted Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s coach. Finally, he was called to represent in the national side.
Azam Khan, coach of Pakistan Naval Cricket Team, was Zaman’s prime support in early days
To reach this stage, Zaman had to fight several insecurities and stern failures. In such times, Azam Khan was his torch bearer guiding and motivating to hold on. In early years, young Fakhar was in doubted about future and career in cricket. In an interview, the player recalled, once in a senior district tournament, he could score only 25 runs in first three matches. He was frustrated and was depressed for a moment. In this time, Azam Khan said to him, “whether you score a duck or a century, I won’t drop you.” These words motivated him so much that in next three games he scored three consecutive 150s. Per the player, this was the last incident, when he thought of leaving cricket.
Fakhar Zaman did not take it long to become one of the greatest batsmen of Pakistan with several record feats
Fakhar Zaman debuted T20 International in March 2017 against West Indies. The player’s ODI debut was in 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in the match against South Africa. It was on June 7 of 2017, in which he scored 31 runs. The final match of the tournament against India brought him sheer records. He was caught at 3, but lucky for him, it was a no ball. He struck a century in the match pulling up the score to 338, the maiden ODI century. With the knock, he also became the first batsman of the country to knock a century in an ICC event. Pakistan won the match by 180 runs and Zaman was awarded Player of the Match. There was another record in the match; his opening partnership with Azhar Ali. The openers forged a partnership of 128 runs making it the highest for Pakistan in the championship’s history.
In the recent tri-nation T20I series against Australia and Zimbabwe he became the first Pakistani batsman to score 500 runs in a year in the format. In the fourth ODI against Zimbabwe, he scored an unbeaten double century becoming the first batsman from Pakistan to score a double century in ODI. A world record in the same match was the highest opening partnership of 304 runs in ODI. The players also wreaked the record of highest ODI runs for Pakistan as 399 in the match. In the fifth match, Zaman became the fastest batsman to score 1000 runs in ODI, playing 18 innings. The batsman also scored the record runs between two dismissals in ODI, 455.
Fakhar’s dedication towards cricket might leave him with much lesser time for family. There are no reports about Fakhar Zaman’s wife or girlfriend. He was obscured for long in Pakistan, but as soon as he got the podium, he became a glamor in international cricket. In February 2018, his net worth burgeoned to USD 90,000 as he was retained by Lahore Qalandar of PSL. By June, it grew to USD 0.5 Million after receiving several international awards.
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