Three Pakistan-born cricketers who might get bids in IPL 2020 Auction
1. Usman Khawaja
One of the first names that come to mind when we talk of Pakistan-born cricketers is Usman Khawaja. The Australian left-hander has been around for almost a decade now. Having made his international debut back in January 2011, Khawaja has played more than 90 international games for Australia.
However, only nine of those have come in international T20 cricket. Khawaja has a decent record in T20 cricket. He averages 31.76 and has a strike-rate of nearly 130. Despite that, he has been overlooked by the selectors.
The Islamabad-born cricketer has played in the IPL in the past. In 2016, he came in as an injury replacement in the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) team. Khawaja came in for Kevin Pietersen mid-way through the ninth edition of the IPL. He played six games where he scored 127 runs at an average of 21.17. Hence, he could be one of the Pakistan-born cricketers to be picked in the upcoming auctions.
2. Sikandar Raza
Sikandar Raza is one of the most experienced Zimbabwean cricketers going around at the moment. However, he was born and brought up in Sialkot in Pakistan. But it was in 2002, he moved to Zimbabwe for further studies and his parents stayed there as well.
In 2007, the all-rounder made his first-class debut for the Northerns but it took him six years to make it to the international side. Raza made his debut for Zimbabwe in all three formats in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. He is one of the underrated players. The all-rounder has the ability to change the game with both bat and ball.
Raza has a decent T20 record. He has played 100 T20 games and has a strike-rate of almost 125. He can chip in with a few useful overs of off-spin as well and also can be a partnership-breaker. However, the Zimbabwean all-rounder has never played in the IPL. But he can be a useful addition and will be one of the Pakistan-born cricketers in the upcoming auctions.
3. Fawad Ahmed
Fawad Ahmed might be 37 years old but he is one of the top leg-spinners in T20 cricket at the moment. The Pakistan-born leg-spinner who has plied his trade in both Pakistan and Australia plays in most top T20 leagues around the world. In recent times, Ahmed was playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for the St Lucia Zouks.
It’s been more than 14 years since Ahmed made his first-class debut. He had walked out to represent Abbottabad, a domestic team in Pakistan. However, in 2013, his Australian citizenship was approved and since then, he has been plying his trade in Australia.
The leg-spinner represented Victoria in the Australian domestic circuit. But it was in 2013 itself, he made his international debut in both ODIs and T20Is. However, despite featuring in a total of five international games (three ODIs and two T20Is) and picking six wickets, 2013 was the last time Ahmed donned Australian colours. He has been playing T20 leagues around the world since then. However, IPL is one of the only few leagues that Ahmed hasn’t played. Hence, with leg-spinners in demand, the Pakistan-born leggie could well get a chance this time around.