Pakistan is the country known for generating talented bowlers in the international arena. Its latest find is 21-year-old pacer Yasir Jan who is capable bowling using both his hands.
Yasir hails from a small town situated 29 km from Peshawar and moved to Islamabad at the age of 12 where he works at his father’s vegetable shop.
From being a "part-time passion" In his initial days, cricket has turned Yasir’s ambition who is now focussed on a position in the national team.
He first appeared in an under-19 match for Rawalpindi from where he emerged as a force to be reckoned with for his ability.
The quality bowler can generate around 145 kilometers (90 miles) per hour with his right hand and 135 kph with his left, something that makes Yasir a unique talent.
Yasir’s coach Muhammad Salman said, “He has been an amazing talent.”
According to his Salman, Pakistan Super League’s Lahore Qalandars team has snapped up Yasir on a 10-year-contract.
By swapping up his arms, Yasir proved himself an unorthodox talent who can vary more greatly the angle of his delivery by adapting tactics depending on whether he is facing a right or left-handed batsman.
“It is an advantage. As a captain when you have right-handed and left-handed batsmen batting then you have a luxury to have a bowler who can bowl with both,” said Salman, a former Pakistan batsman.
“There are no restrictions that a bowler can bowl with two hands in an over.”
It was a talent hunt in Rawalpindi which proved for Yasir a turning point in his life as it didn’t take long time for him to catch Javed’s eye, a former Pakistan quick bowler, who is now Qalandars' head of cricket operations.
"He was bowling with his right arm, but then he came to me and told me, 'I can bowl with left arm too,' which caught my attention," Aaqib said at a press conference at the Lahore Press Club, where he introduced Yasir.
"It was a surprise for me, because I have never seen anyone doing that. I have seen cricketers throwing with both arms, and even saw a bowler bowling spin with both arms, but this is someone extraordinary."
Yasir, who has been bowling with both arms since he was a kid, considers Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram as his idols.
“Waqar bhai (brother) and Wasim bhai were bowling in 2003 when I saw my first World Cup.”
“I really liked watching them… I’d copy them. And I kept working and working at it and I got good. And it’s helped me get picked.”
The coaches and people who own him now are going to spend a lot of money on his physical fitness and nutrition, said Salman, adding that his grooming will take minimum six months to a year.
Though it will be a challenge for Yasir to show case his talent but he says he will work hard to bring his right-arm, left-arm combinations to the sport’s biggest stages.
“Now I’ve got a good platform so with hard work I hope to achieve my goal of playing for Pakistan, my country. To go to the biggest grounds around the world and the best players. This is my goal and my dream.”
"It's a great moment for me that I got such a platform," Yasir said at a conference, before signing his contract.
"I have been running a vegetable shop and playing cricket in my spare time. I thank Aaqib bhai for his support, and I promise that I will remain focused and work very hard to make everyone proud. Playing for Pakistan is a dream for every kid playing cricket and I also want to see myself at the top in coming years."