Aizaz Cheema gets World Cup nod after brilliant performance in Quaid-e-Azam trophy
Pakistan’s premier first-class event, Quaid-e-Azam trophy’s, final is going to start on 13th of January 2011 and will be played between Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
Through some magnificent performances the domestic players have proven that Pakistan has a no shortage of cricket talent and they can excel if cricket affairs are managed properly by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
There have been some brilliant performances in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2010-11 with both bat and ball. But no one has performed better than PIA’s right arm fast bowler Aizaz Cheema, who has bamboozled the batting orders of many big teams, including WAPDA
and the finalists Habib Bank.
Aizaz Bin Ilyas Cheema is a Lahore born fast bowler, who is not that tall, but still has pace that can surprise any batsman. Aizaz was born on 5th of September 1979 in a small city of Punjab called Sargodha, which apparently is the native city
of Test cricketers, Misbah ul Haq, Mohammad Hafeez and Naved Latif. But he along with his family shifted to Lahore and is settled there.
Cheema is a natural fast bowler and just like all Pakistani cricketers he started playing cricket in the streets with a tennis ball. He soon realized his ability to bowl fast and joined Model Town Greens Cricket Club where he was able to nurture his skills.
He was lucky enough to play with Salman Butt, Wahab Riaz and Ali Naqvi in the same club, which helped him improve his approach towards professional cricket.
He made his first-class debut against Karachi Blues representing PIA in 2001-02 and since then he has been regularly playing domestic cricket. Aizaz Cheema has so far played 60 first-class matches in which he has taken 216 wickets with a devastating average
of just 20.89.
He has grabbed 15 five-wicket hauls and 4 ten-wicket hauls so far, which includes his career best figures of 7 for 24. In 25 domestic One Day matches he has taken 40 wickets including a five-wicket haul. On top of that he has superb abilities in the field.
Even though Aizaz has performed consistently in domestic cricket, he came into the limelight this season through some extraordinary performances with the ball.
In the current season, he has taken 53 wickets in only 7 first-class matches at a staggering average of 12.20. In the last round match against Karachi Blues, he took 14 wickets against the home team to steer his team to the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy
2010-11 Division One.
He is sharp and bowls at about 140 km per hour and his outstanding performances in the current season has earned him a place in Pakistan’s preliminary squad of 30 players for the ICC World Cup 2011.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s selection committee should consider him for the ODI series against New Zealand as Pakistan is lacking fire-power in the bowling department in the absence of Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.
Concerns about his age may present the only hurdle in his selection for the final ICC World Cup 2011 squad.