Pakistan’s latest pace sensation to emerge from PSL

They say Pakistan has a never-ending supply of fast bowlers. And judging by the talent they unleash at every edition of the Pakistan Super League, that belief is well placed.

Fast bowlers like Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain have taken the spotlight in the T20 tournament and it looks like it will soon be another young pacer’s turn to make his mark on the game.

Multan Sultan’s pacesetter Ihsanullah set the tournament on fire on Wednesday when he scored a devastating spell against the Quetta Gladiators. The 20-year-old pacer went 5-12 from his four overs, including a maiden, to sack Quetta for 110 and set up a nine-wicket win.

The right-arm pacemaker Ihsanullah achieved speeds in excess of 150 km/h and stayed in the 140 km/h range throughout his time. In fact, Ihsanullah’s spell was the fastest completed spell in the history of the tournament. According to CricViz, his spell’s average speed was 144.37km/h, which is the fastest ever in PSL, beating Rauf’s performance for Lahore Qalandars against Peshawar Zalmi last year.

Who is Ihsanullah?

Young Pacer hails from the new kennel of Pakistani cricket – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Born in the picturesque Swat Valley, Ihsanullah comes from a very humble background.

He made his first-class debut last September after making his PSL arc in early January. Overall, he’s only featured in seven top-flight games, eleven one-day games and ten T20 games, but has made a serious impression in all three. He is the highest wicket-taker for KP in the top-flight Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in the 2022-23 season with 22 wickets from seven games. He is also the second highest wicket taker in the Pakistan ODI Cup for 2022-23 with 25 scalps.

The rise of Ihsanullah is another plus for KP, who now form a large part of the Pakistani eleven, a position previously held by Punjab. Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Wasim are all from this region.

How did Ihsanullah start his cricket?

Former KP coach Abdul Rehman, who now coaches the southern Punjab, saw him at trials a few years ago. He failed to make the cut on the first try. Rehman then arranged another series of court cases, with Ihsanullah making the cut.

Like many up-and-coming cricketers from the area, Ihsanullah comes from humble backgrounds. Unfortunately his house was washed away in the Swat floods two years ago. Now that he has caught the attention of the cricket world, Ihsanullah is hoping for many happy days on the field.

The fastest spells in PSL history

1. Ihsanullah for Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators (2023): average speed of 144.37 km/h

2. Haris Rauf (Lahore Qalandars vs Peshawar Zalmi, 2022): 144.16 km/h

3. Naseem Shah (Quetta Gladiators vs. Karachi Kings, 2020): 143.73 km/h

4. Mohammad Hasnain (Quetta Gladiators vs. Multan Sultans, 2021): 143.41 km/h

5. Wahab Riaz (Peshawar Zalmi vs. Quetta Gladiators, 2019): 143.33 km/h

Note: According to CricViz, average speed for full odds of four overs.

Updated February 17, 2023 at 8:45 am


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