Kent’s Pakistan connections

Thursday 26th April 2018

Tour Match

Kent’s Pakistan connections

Kent has strong historical links with the Pakistan national side including the first overseas captain, one of seven Pakistanis to play for the club..

Discounting India-born England captain Colin Cowdrey, Asif Iqbal was the first foreign Kent captain, leading the club in 1977, 1981 and 1982 in a 15-year association featuring two County Championships and eight limited-overs trophy wins (two One-Day Cups, three National Leagues and three B&H Cups).

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The India-born all-rounder emigrated to Pakistan in 1961 and joined Kent seven years later, going on to score 13,231 first class runs and 5,554 more in List A matches.

He captained Pakistan in the inaugural World Cup in 1975 and led the side to the semi-finals in 1979.

All-rounder Azhar Mahmood, now the Pakistan fast bowling coach, spent five seasons at Kent between 2008 and 2012 after retiring from international cricket.

He took 97 wickets and scored 1,271 runs in 26 first class matches for the county as well as 830 runs and 62 wickets in 42 one-day matches with 1128 runs and 70 wickets to his name in 64 T20s.

He hit a century on his Kent County Championship debut against Northamptonshire and became the first Kent player to record a T20 century at The County Ground, Beckenham in 2011, hitting a 54-ball ton in a win against Gloucestershire.

He took six five-wicket hauls in first class cricket for Kent before plying his trade in T20 leagues in India, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia, West Indies and Pakistan.

Paceman Mohammad Sami played two seasons at Kent in 2003 and 2004, shortly after making his international debut in 2001.

The Karachi-born fast bowler took 32 wickets in eight Championship matches with a best haul of 8/64 as he claimed 15 wickets in the match at Mote Park against Nottinghamshire in July 2003.

His 12 wickets in six List A matches included a best of 6/20 against Gloucestershire in a one-run Sunday League win at The Spitfire Ground in 2004.

All-rounder Shahid Afridi took just one wicket and hit a top score of 25 in four white-ball appearances in a short spell in July 2004.

Left-arm speedster Wahab Riaz took 13 first class and nine List A wickets as well as 20 T20 wickets in the run to the quarter-finals in 2011.

Bowling all-rounder Yasir Arafat was a key player in Kent’s runs to consecutive T20 finals in 2007 and 2008.

The man from Rawalpindi took 2/13 in the 2007 final and was at the non-striker’s end when Darren Stevens hit the winning runs against Gloucestershire. He took 2/20 in four overs and was stranded on six not out when Middlesex edged the 2008 title by three runs.

2017 overseas signing Yasir Shah claimed best figures of 5/132 at Worcestershire and batted well to secure a draw on his county debut against Durham (scoring 48 and 39*) in his first of three matches for the club.

One of our current Kent Cricket Academy scholars is also Pakistan-born: 20-year-old batsman and leg spinner Kashif Ali was born in Kashmir before settling in the UK.

Tickets cost £5 for under 16s and £15 for adults in advance (£10 and £20 each on the gate). Entry is included in All Rounder and Championship Plus Memberships and an option for Six Pack holders.

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