DateLine: 19th May 2010
Azeem Ghumman has already been labeled as a prospect with immense potential. This feeling has grown amongst the fans as he has continuously displayed his batting supremacy in domestic cricket. The promising youngster showed wonderful leadership in the under-19 world cup - displaying grit and determination during the toughest of moments with the bat. He might not have come home with the trophy but he sure did garner deserved praise from cricketers and fans.
PakPassion.net recently caught up with the youngster in an exclusive discussion talking about the ongoing NCA camp being held in Lahore. 24 of the most talented young players have been invited to this camp with Ghumman being one of them. Even though the camp is in full flow - he was happy to share his time with PakPassion and provide some excellent feedback on how he feels about the camp and other interesting tidbits.
Pakistan cricket has produced many legends over the years but many have been questioned for their unwillingness to assist the upcoming talent of our country. When asked about who was helping the youngsters out in the camp, Azeem promptly replied, "The camp has been going on for a week or so now - we have received tips and advice from Intikhab Alam, Javed Miandad, Aaqib Javed, Rashid Latif and Mohtashim Rashid." All of these coaches have been providing invaluable tips to Azeem and the others. "Javed Miandad has been here with us every day providing advice in regards to batting" explained Azeem Ghumman. Javed Miandad - one of the finest batsmen produced by Pakistan has been putting the young batsmen at the camp through high quality batting sessions that will certainly assist in developing their batting technique and mental approach to the game.
When asked how Miandad has personally helped Azeem, the nineteen years old replied, "I usually go through 2-3 hours of batting a day and I have benefited tremendously from his advice". "I recently made 122 off 114 balls in a camp match and Javed Miandad told me that the only problem I had was being late with my timing." Even though Javed Miandad was clearly impressed with the youngster, he seemed to find a few technical "flaws" that he pointed out to the youngster to improve his batting.
When PakPassion.net asked whether he had learned anything for the future, Azeem expressed his disappointment regarding the amount of time he got to spend with Miandad in the past. "Usually you only get to spend a day or two with people like Miandad and that is certainly not enough to learn anything substantial."
Azeemís views on his future and getting selected into the national team were optimistic, "I am hoping that I get selected for the Asia Cup which is coming up and the England tour as well." He keenly stated that he had played and performed in front of the selectors and was hoping they would find him worthy of a spot in the squad.
Fielding has always been a concerning aspect of Pakistani cricket. With the camp going on - PakPassion.net found it appropriate to ask on the improvements being made in this facet of the sport. Azeem stated, "The coaches at the camp are paying special attention to the fielding and are pointing out mistakes all the time." "All of the boys are working extremely hard on our fielding at the camp and we are improving each day."
When asked about the reason behind Pakistani players and their problems with fielding, Azeem explained, "We donít have school cricket in Pakistan and most of us come straight from street cricket." He even complimented the Australian cricket setup, "They groom their athletes from a very young age and thus most of them are good fielders right off the bat."
Saboor Ahmed, NCAís fitness trainer was the beneficiary of great compliments from Azeem who stated, "He has been amazing with all of us and he has worked us really hard." Fitness has never been high on the list of priorities in the past but the upcoming youngsters have certainly bought into the system with the help of Saboor Ahmed. The sport has now become a science and NCA has taken large strides in assisting these talented players with their fitness regimens.
Scores were provided to PakPassion.net as well from the NCA camp match which was recently played between the upcoming Pakistani talents. The match was contested between the NCA Tigers and NCA Panthers. The Panthers batted first and scored 327/5 (50 overs) with major contributions from Sharjeel Khan (75 off 62), Babar Azam (61 off 93), Shahzaib Hasan (57 off 64) and Shehryar Ghani (40 off 40). Mohammad Talha took 2 wickets for 47 runs and Raza Hasan took 1 wicket for 55 runs. In response to this wonderful batting performance - Azeem scored 122 as previously stated, Umar Amin (58 off 59) and Azhar Ali (38 off 40) also chipped in. However, they only got to 298/4 (46 overs) before bad light ended the match hanging in the balance. The match might not have had a result but the batting was quite impressive with most batsmen chipping in - especially the talented Azeem Ghumman with his courageous century against the likes of Anwar Ali and Yasir Shah.
PakPassion.net wishes Azeem Ghumman and the other upcoming talents the very best in their pursuit to gain that spot in the national team; our prayers are with them all.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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