PESHAWAR,:Ambitions are critical to achieve the zenith of one’s career and 17-year old Ali Asfand has set the target of being remembered as a big gun of the game. The left-arm spinner hails from Faisalabad and is amongst 107 cricketers of the Pathways Program despite facing stiff resistance from his family.
“My family often got furious at me as I used to bunk classes to feature in cricket matches. They tried to force me to leave the game and encouraged me to secure a good future by pursuing my education. But cricket remains my passion and I want people to remember me as one of the stars of the game. Though I am pleased that I navigated my way through all the tough experiences, it would have been better if I had my family’s support from day one,” Ali told PCB digital.
Ali Asfand was the leading wicket-taker of National U19 Cup where he claimed 10 wickets while representing Central Punjab Blues U19. He then grabbed 25 wickets in eight red-ball matches in the National U19 Championship.
The 17-year old is delighted with the new PCB initiative that includes a monthly stipend of PKR30,000, free education and coaching by foreign experts, and says this will assist him to follow his career in cricket.
“The PCB Pathways Program has convinced my parents to accept my passion, which will not only enhance my cricket skills but will also help me secure quality education and a monthly stipend that will allow me to look after my expenses before I turn into a professional cricketer. I look forward to taking full advantage of the presence of international coaches in the PCB Pathways Program, which, in turn, will prepare me better for the Pakistan Junior League, which can be a platform to demonstrate my talent and potential,” he added.
Ali idealizes the veteran slow left-arm orthodox Zulfiqar Babar who represented Pakistan in 29 international matches. “I am impressed by Zulfiqar Babar and used to watch his bowling on television. I want to master the art of deceiving a batter with the spin like him,” Ali said.