||12 March 1982
Yasir Arafat is an all-rounder of typically Pakistani ethos: ideal for the attacking mood of the limited-overs formats and was also capable enough to win three Test caps. When his international career came to an end in 2009, somewhat prematurely with his 30th birthday still distant, he proved himself a staple of the English county circuit, sharing his talent around six counties by the time Hampshire signed him for their T20 campaign in 2015. He was on the fringes of the Pakistan squad for a number of years though given the allrounders ahead of him - Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi and even Shoaib Malik - limited his chances. He could generate pace and swing and was always liable to turn a game even as his career entered the veteran stage. He was also a dangerous lower-order plunderer, good enough to strike five first-class hundreds as well as one in List A cricket. His type of straight, full, skiddy bowling courtesy a slingy action accounted for Andrew Flintoff's wicket at an ODI in Karachi in December 2005. It has also helped him to nine wickets against England in a warm-up game earlier during the same series . In that year he also took five wickets in six balls for Rawalpindi against the national champions Faisalabad in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. This had only been achieved three times previously in first-class cricket, by Bill Copson in 1937, William Henderson in 1938, and Pat Pocock in 1972. Arafat was the only bowler to take the wickets spread over two innings. Yasir's first experience of cricket in the UK was for Scotland before he was recruited by Sussex in the 2006 Championship season. In his first three games, he took 17 wickets with two five-wicket hauls as well as scoring a couple of fifties. An impressive start to the 2007 county season with Kent, where he starred with ball as well the bat, saw Arafat being awarded a central contract for the first time. With injuries to Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul, Arafat was called up as replacement and made his Test debut against India at Bangalore in December 2007. But it was county cricket where he was in most demand. Sussex, Surrey, Lancashire, Somerset and Hampshire also came calling when they needed some bowling enterprise in one-day cricket. Perth Scorchers also came calling in 2013.