After Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf Pakistan Super League may have delivered another hidden fast bowling gem for Pakistan in Ihsanullah who starred for Multan Sultans in their second game against Quetta Gladiators
But as the 20-year-old tore through Quetta’s lineup with the wickets of Jason Roy, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Iftikhar Ahmed and Naseem Shah all anyone could ever ask was who is Ihsanullah?
Here is all you need to know about the guy who is being touted to break Shoaib Akhtar’s record of the fasted ball bowled in cricket after he finished with the figures of 4-1-12-5 in the previous game.
Born and raised in Arkot village in Matta Tehsil of the Swat valley, he was called up by Rashid Latif for a trial in Islamabad after enrolling in the Kamyab Jawan Sports Drive, a talent programme greenlit by former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
His talent was enough for Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans to take notice with Sultans getting him registered for the PSL 7 draft.
He also took part in PCB’s U-16 Pentangular T20 Tournament in 2018 before falling out of the public eye.
His three-day cricket stint with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2021 was enough for Sultans to take him with their last pick for PSL in 2022.
Ihsanullah’s PSL failure:
The pacer only managed to ball one over for the Sultans in the last competition against Karachi Kings before injuring himself and being ruled out of the tournament.
But the defending champions saw something in him to retain his services for another addition which paid off mightily.
Ihsanullah completes his redemption arc:
Under the tutelage of KP’s coach Abdur Rehman, Ihsanullah got to work on his rehab and ironing out fundamental flaws in his action.
He played seven first-class matches, the National T20 Cup and the Pakistan one-day Cup – picking up 25 wickets at an average of 19.96 and a strike rate of 18.2 to signal what was to come.
The first game of PSL 8 proved to be a challenge due to the step-up in competition as Qalandars took 37 runs off his 4 overs before he tore through Gladiators in the next game.
With the eyes of the whole nation on him, especially after Dahani’s injury, he will look to continue his surge going for the current PSL 8 table-toppers as they face Peshawar Zalmi tonight at Multan Cricket Stadium.
If things work out for him, no one in Pakistan will ever have to ask who is Ihsanullah anymore.