Pakistan opener Abid Ali scripted his name in the echelons of history when he became the first men’s cricketer and second overall [after England women all-rounder Enid Bakewell] to score a hundred in each of his maiden One-day International and Test innings.
The 32-year-old celebrated his debut with a pristine hundred on the fifth day of the Rawalpindi Test, becoming the first Pakistan cricketer after Younis Khan [vs SL, 2000] to register a three-figure score at the venue.
Abid Ali’s story is a tale of relentless hard work, years of toil in domestic cricket, heartbreak, patience and perseverance as the national selectors continued to ignore him all these years. It is also a story- an inspirational one for all the budding cricketers- about how one should keep working hard at the domestic level and how one should cash-in, as and when the opportunity arrives for a national call-up.
And, Abid Ali has done it twice this calendar year. He celebrated his ODI debut with a hundred earlier this year against Australia before one bad outing in England paved way for his axe from the World Cup squad. And, naturally, the 32-year-old was very pleased with his efforts.
Ali dedicated his hundred to his daughter and said, “What can I say? What more can one ask for? Getting a century in my debut Test and that too in the first Test in Pakistan in 10 years is a magic moment for me,” Abid said after the rain-hit first Test ended in a draw at the Rawalpindi stadium.
He added, “I want to dedicate this hundred to my darling daughter. I also thank my wife, my family, the media and the team management for supporting and encouraging me all the time. Playing in front of my home crowd which backed me from the first ball made the task easier for me,” Abid Ali said as quoted by Deccan Chronicle.
Abid Ali opens up on Babar Azam’s calming influence
Abid Ali admitted that he was nervous when he came into the 90s but Babar Azam’s calming influence helped him a lot, “But Babar (Azam) calmed me down and told me to focus as I should not get out after coming so close to my milestone. I learnt about the record of scoring hundreds on debut in Test and ODIs during the tea break and it made me nervous,” he said.
Abid started the Qaid-e-Azam Trophy in September with an unbeaten 249 against Baluchistan, ensuring he was in contention for the squad against Sri Lanka and Australia. But, he wasn’t given any chance to play in Australia as the team management opted for Imam-ul-Haq in favour of the 32-year-old. But, Ali said he was not depressed or disappointed with the snub as he knew his time would come eventually.
“I am just happy that I was able to get my debut century in front of my own people who have been denied the chance to see Tests at home since 2009,” Ali said.
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