FULL NAME: Syed Imad Wasim
BORN: December 18, 1988, SWANSEA, GLAMORGAN,WALES
CURRENT AGE: 31 years
ROLE: Bowling All-rounder, Left-Handed Batsman, Slow Left-Arm orthodox Bowler
Imad Wasim had been set to study medicine but the offer to play for the Pakistan Under-19 made him change his mind and since then there has been no looking back. Like many aspiring players from his country, he wanted to emulate Wasim Akram but he didn’t have the pace his coaches were looking for. Still, the switch to left-arm spin has worked for him. A capable middle-order batsman as well, he was part of the Pakistan side that won the Youth World Cup in 2006, before captaining them in the next edition.
It wasn’t until 2015, when the senior team were searching for a replacement for the suspended Saeed Ajmal, that Imad got his shot at international cricket. He spent the intervening period playing league cricket in England and Ireland, which he said was instrumental to his development. Adding to his connection to the UK, Imad was born in Swansea.
Also a factor in his rise up the ranks was his first-class experience – he struck a half-century for Islamabad on debut in 2007, took an eight-for in 2013 and clattered a maiden double-hundred in 2014. Imad made his T20I debut when cricket returned to Pakistan six years after the Lahore attack in 2009, and represented his country in the World T20 that followed in 2016.
Having been born in Wales, Imad moved to Pakistan at a very early age and his father worked as an engineer in the UK before that. Imad began studying medicine, but a call-up to the Pakistani U19 side effected a change of mind.
He was convinced that he could emulate Pakistani great Wasim Akram, but he did not have enough pace in his deliveries to settle as a fast bowler in the team. During that time, his coach helped him by changing his style to a chinaman-like and it worked great wonders for him.
Wasim also batted well. His mixed skills helped the U19 team to win the World Cup in 2006, where he was also the captain.
Wasim has represented the following teams – Islamabad, Islamabad Leopards, Federal Areas Leopards, Punjab Badshahs, Karachi Kings, Jamaica Tallawahs and Stellenbosch Kings.
Imad Wasim made his international debut on 24 May 2015 in a T20 international against Zimbabwe at Lahore. He bowled just two overs and went for 14 runs but did not get to bat.
The highlight of the match was that cricket had returned to Pakistan after six years during that series.
Wasim received his ODI cap on 19 July 2015 against Sri Lanka at Colombo. He bowled well by picking up two wickets in what was a landslide victory for Pakistan.
rise to glory
A year after his debut for the T20I, Imad made headlines by becoming the first Pakistani player to pick up a five-wicket haul in T20Is. This feat came against West Indies at the Dubai Cricket Stadium and helped Pakistan to a win.
In the same year, Imad put in another stellar performance against Ireland by achieving his ODI five-wicket haul, which ended in a Pakistan win. He was given the Man of the Match award for his wily bowling performance.
In 2016, Imad reached the top of the T20I bowling rankings.
Imad was a part of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy winning squad and proved to be useful with both the bat and the ball. The Pakistan Cricket Board announced him as the best T20 player of the year 2017.
Imad Wasim led the Islamabad side for quite some time and has represented three Islamabad-based sides – Islamabad, Islamabad Leopards, and Federal Areas Leopards.
He then signed for the Punjab Badshahs for a short period of time before moving to the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League.
In 2016, Wasim was also signed by Caribbean Premier League side Jamaica Tallawahs, where he played a crucial role. He currently also plays for the Stellenbosch Kings in the T20 Global League in South Africa.