ISLAMABAD: Usman Qadir, the son of legendary Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir , wants to play for Australia at the World Twenty20 on home soil, a prominent Australian sports website wwos.nine.com.au., reported on Thursday.
Usman Qadir took 3-28 from 10 overs as the PM's XI stunned South Africa in a four-wicket win on Wednesday. “My goal is to play for Australia in 2020 in the T20 World Cup,” he told reporters after his performance.
“Before that, if I get the opportunity to play for Australia in a Test or one-day cricket, I would love that.”
Qadir, 25, is walking a similar path to fellow Pakistani leg-spinner, Fawad Ahmed. He qualified for a distinguished talent visa, meaning his citizenship will be fast-tracked, and hopes to be playing for Australia ASAP.
He has already played five games for Western Australia, taking three wickets on debut last month in a domestic one-dayer against Victoria. It has been a long an extraordinary road for him to reach this point, having been raised in Pakistan cricket with the dream of representing his homeland like his father.
Abdul Qadir took 236 wickets in 67 Tests for Pakistan, meaning the pressure was on to follow in his footsteps.
Usman said he had finally won his father's approval to play for Australia. "There is a very big debate whenever I talk about Pakistan things. I’d just keep on telling my dad that I want to play for Australia and he keeps telling me, ‘No, you have to play for Pakistan’," he said.
"For a couple of years I did not get any chance to play in Pakistan, I got named in the teams but I never played, in Twenty20s or one-dayers or whatever, I was always sitting on the bench. When I came here, they give me the opportunity and I’m performing.”
"He (Abdul Qadir) just gave me permission and said ‘I have a blessing with you. Whatever you need to do, you can do it, because you are growing up and you’re old enough to make your own decision’.
"That’s how I finally made my decision last year that I wanted to play for Australia, so here we go. I’m in the line now."
Australia's Test team is well-served by champion off-spinner Nathan Lyon but a next-generation leg-spinner is yet to stand out. Mitchell Swepson has been on the fringe of selection but is yet to earn a debut, while there are high hopes for Lloyd Pope, 18, who last week took 7-87 for South Australia in just his second Sheffield Shield match.