Pakistan, on Friday, handed 20-year-old Karachi Kings pacer Arshad Iqbal a maiden cap and the youngster left a mark on his debut - literally. Through a snorting bouncer, the right-arm quick blew the cover off Zimbabwe’s Tadiwanashe Marumani’s helmet, leaving the batsman absolutely shell-shocked.
In the form of Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain and Musa Khan, Pakistan, of late, have been developing a formidable next-gen pace battery and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Arshad Iqbal, today, became the latest addition to the ever-growing list of Pakistani seamers. The 20-year-old, who plays for Karachi Kings, impressed in both PSL 2019/20 and the suspended 2020-21 edition, taking a total of 15 wickets, and so with Shaheen Afridi being rested, the management decided to give the 20-year-old a go against a Zimbabwe side already down on confidence.
The debut went exceptionally well for Iqbal, who finished with dream figures of 1/16 off his four overs, but it was what he did on the third ball of his second over that is still making waves around the internet.
With Zimbabwe just 25/1 after 6 overs, the pressure was mounting on the hosts and more so on the batsman, Kamunhukamwe, who, after blocking the first 2 balls off the 7th over, was just on 19 after facing 26 balls. So, in desperate need of a release shot, the batsman walked down the wicket on ball three in an attempt to thump the ball. But what happened next left Kamunhukamwe mortified.
Having watched the batsman give charge, the bowler, debutant Arshad Iqbal, pulled back his length and delivered a short one. Iqbal is not lightning quick, and generally operates around the 135-140 mark, and so, despite the length being short, Kamunhukamwe decided to go ahead with his hoick, which was aimed towards mid-wicket.
Kamunhukamwe read the length correctly, but what he didn’t anticipate was the sheer bite on the delivery. Iqbal angled the delivery into the batsman and the ball, after hitting the deck, snorted off the wicket and hit Kamunhukamwe flush on his helmet. Batsmen getting hit on the helmet is a common occurrence, but what was unique about this incident was that the ball, remarkably, ended up blowing the cover off the batsman’s helmet.
Such was the force and accuracy with which the ball hit the batsman’s head that the outer part of the helmet went flying, leaving the batsman absolutely shell-shocked. The immediate impact that the batsman suffered brought play to a standstill, and it was only after a good few minutes that normalcy resumed after Kamunhukamwe was cleared to bat on. Not many knew about Arshad Iqbal before today, but now, you bet there’ll be a whole bunch of folks keeping an eye on the young lad.
Introducing Arshad Iqbal!— Emmad Hameed (@Emmad81) April 23, 2021
(Thankfully the batter didn't get hurt) pic.twitter.com/hhc4Oh5qpX
Damn!! Poor quality helmet???
That's a huge blow!🔥
Don't overact it's Zimbabwe helmet quality 🤣— పుష్ప రాజ్ (@NageswaraRaoAA) April 23, 2021
That might be one of the reasons! XD XD
Legends know, it was " Made in China" Product— All About cricket (@AllArou72724185) April 23, 2021
It can be a low quality helmet or Chinese maal— दीपेंद्र सिंह राजावत (@i_amdeependra) April 23, 2021