Little-known bowler Ahmed Jamal has vowed to make a name for himself after winning a nationwide “King of Speed” competition launched by cricket chiefs to unearth a new Pakistani quick.
Pakistan boast a proud history of pacemen including the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar, and Jamal showed he has the pace to frighten batsmen with a fastest delivery of 143 kilometres (89 miles) an hour.
The 24-year-old came out on top in the competition organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Jamal, who plays first-class cricket for Port Qasim, was delighted to scoop the one million rupee ($10,000) prize after the four-man final. “The desire was inspired by watching Shoaib,” Jamal recalled. “I want to achieve his speed and want to bowl as fast as he used to.”
The PCB organised the hunt for fast bowlers ahead of a 10-day camp led by Wasim after chief selector Iqbal Qasim raised concerns about poor quality in the pace department.
“What I have noticed that all these bowlers are passionate and want to learn, which proved that the next five years we will have no problem in the pace department,” Akram said.