Leg-spinner in his recent interviews had expressed his desire to represent Australia
Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq took an ambitious approach and selected several fresh faces in the Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for the upcoming Australia tour.
Among those new names, Usman Qadir’s inclusion left fans confused as the leg-spinner in his recent interviews had expressed his desire to represent Australia.
“My goal is to play for Australia in the 2020 T20 World Cup. If I get the opportunity to play for Australia in a Test or one-day cricket, I would love that," said Qadir. “In Pakistan I didn't play lots of cricket. That's why I did not get opportunities. So that's why I moved to Australia."
ALSO READ: Sarfaraz deserved one more series: Saqlain
Qadir, son of the late former Pakistan cricketer Abdul Qadir, played for Perth Scorchers in the 2019/20 season of the Big Bash League (BBL) and also represented Australia Prime Minister's XI against South Africa last year.
However, Pakistan fans on Twitter questioned Qadir’s inclusion in the T20I squad.
Usman had plans to play for Australia... but now is in the Pakistan squad.— Ananthasubramanian (@_chinmusic) October 22, 2019
"In Pakistan I didn't play lots of cricket. That's why I did not get opportunities. So that's why I moved to Australia."https://t.co/YnT2hJOio1
We select players who don't value playing for this nation.. Usman Qadir who bashed Pakistan is now in playing 11 on the other hand players like Fawad Alam are working hard and values playing for nation and yet still not getting any chance— JAFFA 🇵🇰 (@jafferhussain9) October 21, 2019
Usman Qadir, a talented leg spinner picked on the Pak T 20 team. Preferred because of skill, talent, age, sympathy & friendship with Baber probably, here is the food for thought ZAHID MEHMOOD— Dr. Nauman Niaz (@DrNaumanNiaz) October 22, 2019
Just under one year ago Usman Qadir was on his way to playing for Australia after playing for The Australian Prime-Minister's XI versus South Africa. In a couple of weeks he could be playing for Pakistan against Australia #AUSvPAK #Cricket pic.twitter.com/vPZ5uz4mc7— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 21, 2019
Also Usman Qadir?? Wasn't he going to play for Aus. Guy didn't even played PSL and is now part of the T20 Team.— . (@OnlyLeohasmore) October 21, 2019
Usman Qadir..wasn’t he lining up to play for Australia?— AmerCric (@Amermalik12) October 21, 2019
Misbah is particularly impressed with Qadir’s bowling and wants to make use of his experience of having played in Australia.
“Usman is playing T20 cricket, and we saw a spark in his bowling and we think that his bowling got the potential and variation," said Misbah. “We are facing an issue as we don't have considerable backup in the wrist spin department, so considering this and his experience of playing Big Bash in Australia, Usman has been selected for the Australian tour.”
“I haven’t heard anything [about Usman Qadir applying for Australian nationality]. He is playing cricket in Pakistan and is here. If he is playing here and if we feel he can be a future prospect, we will back him,” he added.
The T20I side will depart for Sydney on 26 October, while the Test players will leave for Perth after featuring in the fifth round of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which will be played from 28-31 October.