Former Australia great Mathew Hayden has shown great delight in watching exciting talent of fast bowling in the ongoing HBL Pakistan Super League and singled-out Lahore Qalandars’ Haris Rauf as one for the future.
Hayden is here to commentate on the HBL PSL matches and was impressed with Rawalpindi-born Lahore’s 25-year-old Rauf, who took a match winning four for 23 in Lahore’s 23-run win over Karachi Kings in Dubai on Saturday.
Hayden said he particularly enjoyed the fast bowling talent.
“In particular I have enjoyed the fast bowling talent in this PSL,” Hayden told www.psl-t20.com.
“The talent of the players, guys like Haris Rauf, to be discovered from basically non-traditional development programme and then come to the high level and performing and showing his talent at a higher level, is amazing,” he said.
Rauf is regarded as the latest Rawalpindi Express (Shoaib Akhtar was first called Rawalpindi Express for his express bowing) after discovered in a talent hunt camp in Gujranwala in September 2017. He was later part of the Lahore’s development tour to Australia.
Rauf said he loves to bowl fast and his primary goal is to play for Pakistan after good showing in the HBL PSL.
Hayden, who briefly held the record for the highest Test score of 380 he made against Zimbabwe at Perth in 2003, reckons Rauf could be a fear factor for Pakistan at the international level.
“He (Rauf) is kind of opposition side’s fear for Pakistan. That unknown factor because the reality is that there may be a bunch of fast bowlers who could not have been recognised in Pakistan cricket and to come to the fore in the PSL is amazing.
“There have been a couple of wrong footed bowlers and the proliferation of left-arm fast bowlers (in Pakistan), we have a couple of left-armers in Australia. That side (of exploring the fast bowlers’ talent) stands out for me.”
Hayden, who played 103 Tests, 161 ODIs and nine T20Is in a glittering career, said getting a connection with Pakistan cricket excites him.
“Its been good for me personally (exposure in the HBL PSL) as I had little connection with Pakistan cricket. I never toured Pakistan and only ever seen them on the neutral territories in Sri Lanka and UAE (in 2002).”
Hayden believes the main objective through HBL PSL is to get international cricket back to Pakistan.
“Its hard to say how the HBL PSL has been compared to other leagues as I have been to one venue for just four days,” opined Hayden. “But the beauty of the PSL is that they do explore the new talent.
“The ultimate goal, however, for Pakistan cricket is to get cricket back to Pakistan. I am not going to Pakistan because of my prior commitments but the goal should be to bring cricket back to Pakistan.”
Hayden believes Twenty20 cricket is growing in popularity.
“The way that cricket is set up, there is no question that there is too much cricket. But having said, that I am not sure that its an invective blow on one of the formats of the game.
“The reality is that T20 cricket is a growing product and is growing interest in the game across the broader demographic of the game as well and that has the ability to be able to cannibalise the effect of the other formats of the game.”