Haris Rauf’s fairytale-like run in Big Bash has earned him a T20 cap for Pakistan. He is part of the Pakistan T20 squad that will face Bangladesh next week in the three-match series. Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Stars signed Pakistan’s pacer, Haris Rauf for the first time and he is making the most of this opportunity. Rauf is the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament as he has picked up 16 wickets in just 7 matches. Also, he already has a five-for and a hat-trick to his name.
Haris Rauf is a right-arm fast bowler of Pakistan. He first gained popularity when he played for the Pakistan Super League franchise Lahore Qalandars, for the first time last year. Harris grew up playing tape-ball cricket. However, in 2017 Lahore Qalandars picked him up and Aqib Javed helped him in honing his skills. Due to that, he is now looking forward to playing for Pakistan.
“My next goal is to play for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in Australia”#BBL09 sensation Haris Rauf speaks to @kalson https://t.co/j9dTjc3lho pic.twitter.com/ggCVQGCVsa— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 10, 2020
Pakistan T20 Squad Against Bangladesh
Pakistan’s chief selector and head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq announced the T20 squad for the series against Bangladesh on Thursday. The rising star Haris Rauf got a maiden call-up for this series. It was prompted due to his incredible performances at the BBL09. Babar Azam will remain the captain of the team. Apart from that, management made many substantial changes in the team considering the losing streak of Pakistan. As seven key players were dropped, including Mohammad Amir, Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, & Mohammad Irfan.
They will be replaced by two seniors; Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez who will make a comeback in the side. Moreover, four players namely; Ahsan Ali, Amad Butt, and Haris Rauf will be making a debut in the series. While Sarfaraz Ahmed still has not been considered.
Out of the Blue Selection in BBL
Haris, at first was not even the part of the Melbourne Stars’ squad. Injury to South Africa’s fast bowler, Dale Steyn prompted his selection in the team. He willingly grabbed the offer and made a dream start at this year’s BBL. In his first two games, he picked 7 wickets, including a five-wicket haul. However, he has been unlucky to miss out on several matches, because Steyn regained fitness and replaced him. Nevertheless, fortune gave him another chance when Nepal’s leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane was rested due to an injury. So far he has played seven matches and took 16 wickets, and the fairy tale is not finished yet.
Cricket World Applauds Haris
Because of his phenomenal performances at the Big Bash, the 26-year-old, Haris Rauf is making waves across the Cricket world. South Africa’s Dale Steyn, Haris’ teammate in Melbourne Stars, felt for Haris as he was dropped despite good performances. In an interview before his comeback, Steyn said that “I feel for him. He was amazing and bowled so well. He has bowled absolute wheels. I have pretty big shoes to fill in some sense,”
Moreover, on Twitter someone asked the Australian great, Ricky Ponting which team he sees to be winning the Big Bash League 2019-20 title. To which he replied, Melbourne Stars giving reference to Maxwell, Haris Rauf, and Stoinis’ form.
On the other hand, the Pakistan cricket team’s bowling coach, Waqar Younis hinted at his selection in an interview. Said that he will talk to the Head coach and Chief Selector, Misbah-ul-Haq about his inclusion in the national team. And now he is been selected for the T20 series against Bangladesh. Thankfully, he is not becoming another Fawad Alam.
Waqar Younis in a recent interview with me “Haris Rauf’s impressed me. He has pace, is strong, aggressive & has a good slower-ball. I’ve spoken to Misbah & we’re looking to bring him into our pack of pace-bowlers, working with him & hopefully can push him into Pakistan team soon” pic.twitter.com/2j5Xv0IuUJ— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) January 8, 2020
Rise to Stardom
A month ago or so, nobody knew who is Haris Rauf and today he finds his name in Pakistan’s national T20 team, in headlines, and cricket greats praising him. Surely it is because of his sheer hard work over the years that is bearing fruit now. And most importantly it is because of the Lahore Qalandars platform that helped him in earning this stardom. Undoubtedly, Haris Rauf’s fairytale-like run in Big Bash is heartening and deserves every bit of appreciation.