In the opening edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), when Pakistani cricketers were allowed to play, we have seen Saurav Ganguly joining forces with Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar while Rahul Dravid and Misbah Ul Haq played in tandem for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Unfortunately, the political relations between these two countries spiralled into a receding tailspin and was shortly rolling in the deep when BCCI decided to debar Pakistani cricketers from playing in IPL any further.
In this piece, we will look at five cricketers who were born in Pakistan and yet managed to play in IPL after the moratorium was imposed.
1. Imran Tahir
The 41-year-old leggie plying his trade for South Africa was born in Lahore and he learnt his game in Pakistan growing up there. He was also working as a retail salesman at Lahore’s Place shopping mall. His fortunes took a tectonic turn when he was chosen to represent the Pakistan U-19, cricket team.
After playing out brief stints in county cricket, Tahir headed over to South Africa. Their eternal paucity of quality spinners made the Rainbow Nation assimilate him and he eventually turned into one of their best spinning prodigies. He currently plays for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
2. Owais Shah
Born in Karachi, Owais Shah rose through the cricketing ranks after his career started with Wycombe House. His initial honours included the Ken Barrington National Cup which helped him create a major impact on the selectors.
He didn’t play a glittering role in the glamorous fray but his limited heroics included a decent 58 and a blistering 76 that saw him amass 506 runs from only 7 games. His last season in the domestic fiesta was in 2013.
3. Ali Khan
Chosen to play for Kolkata Knightriders in the upcoming edition of the tournament as a replacement for Harry Gurney, Ali Khan will be the first American cricketer to achieve this herculean feat.
Born in Attock of Pakistan, he made his cricketing debut with the Winnipeg Hawks, putting up blazing displays in the Canadian Global T20 League.
His outings in the T10 tournament where he played for Zaheer’s team was equally impressive as he conjured a double-wicket maiden. He will be an exciting cricketer to watch out for as we are almost there on the brink of IPL kickstarting.
4. Azhar Mahmood
An all-rounder who played for Pakistan until 2007, made his debut in IPL in 2012 when he was bagged by Kings XI Punjab. Born in Rawalpindi, he shifted to England after his playing days were over. As he continued playing county cricket, he shortly notched up his British citizenship.
Post that, he appeared for Kings XI Punjab and later Kolkata Knight Riders that underlined his brief appearances in Indian Premier League.
One of Australia’s best openers at the moment, Usman Khwaja played a crucial role in the resurgence of the Aussies.
His stint in the Indian Premier League was limited to just a solitary season in 2016-17 when he donned on the jersey of Rising Pune Super Giants.
He was born in Islamabad but before he began his cricketing career he moved to Australia where the young lad got his much-coveted debut.