Truck driver in focus at Pak training camp

Karachi: A Pakistani truck driver, who works in Abu Dhabi, has become the focus in the training camp set up in Lahore for the national cricket team ahead of its tour of New Zealand.

Abdul Haq has found himself in the media limelight in a matter of days after he showed up at the Pakistan team’s nets in Abu Dhabi last month during the series against South Africa.

So impressed were the coaches and manager of the team with his ability and pace that they had him included as a practice bowler when the camp was set up for the New Zealand series in Lahore last week.

“It is like a dream to be bowling to the Pakistani players. I am learning a lot just being here and getting a lot of tips from Waqar Younis and Aaqib Javed,” Haq said.

The lanky 27-year old from the tribal area of South Waziristan was forced to leave Pakistan and find work as a truck driver in Abu Dhabi last year due to economic requirements.

“I had played some matches in domestic cricket grade-two but gave up hope and left for Abu Dhabi because I needed to earn money for my myself and my family,” Haq said.

He said that he now aspired to play for Pakistan.

“The coaches have asked some departmental teams to look at me and sign me on. They have also told me to keep on practicing regularly,” he said.

Sources do not rule out the possibility of the national selectors naming the unknown Haq in the preliminary squad for the World Cup as Pakistan cricket has a history of selecting unknown players and pushing them into the limelight.

“There is no doubt he has talent and potential but is pretty raw,” Waqar said.

Not surprisingly Haq’s heroes are Imran Khan and Waqar Younis himself.

“I grew up watching them on television and to just be bowling under his guidance is a big plus for me,” Haq said.