Abdul Razzaq, who was born on 2 December 1979, is a right arm fast-medium bowler and a right-handed batsman. Razzaq emerged on the scene of international cricket in 1996, when he made his One Day International debut against
Abdul Razzaq, who was born on 2 December 1979, is a right arm fast-medium bowler and a right-handed batsman. Razzaq emerged on the scene of international cricket in 1996, when he made his One Day International debut against Zimbabwe at his home ground in Gaddafi Stadium, a month before his seventeenth birthday. He has played over 200 ODIs and nearly 50 Tests for Pakistan.
Razzaq, who originally is a fast bowler has improved his batting throughout the years and is now recognized as an all-rounder. He is best known in cricket as an aggressive batsman and has the ability to score quick runs. This quality has given him the talent of batting and bowling at every position on the team. He is also one of Pakistan's most effective hitters of the cricket ball. He also made 47 runs off 11 balls against England (2005). He stayed not out, but was unable to make the world’s fastest half century.
Razzaq has excelled in the One Day International arena, with several excellent performances. He is also an accurate fast bowler who has been successful against the batting opposition. Razzaq claims to have learned many things while playing under former captain Wasim Akram during the 1990s and early 2000. One of the things that he learned was his quick-arm bowling action, which makes it hard for the batsman to predict at what speed the ball is going to be delivered.
Razzaq made his One Day International debut in November 1996, against Zimbabwe, but had to wait just over three years to make his Test cricket debut for Pakistan, eventually doing so against Australia in Brisbane on November 1999. In the 1999–2000 Carlton and United Series, he rose to fame and was named man of the series for his all round performance. During a match in Hobart against India Razzaq scored a half century and took five wickets. In the same tournament, he hit former Australian fast bowler, Glenn McGrath for 5 fours, which totalled to 20 runs in one over.
Razzaq became a regular member of Pakistan side during the 1999 world cup held in England. During the event, he got the attention of selectors as he performed well both with the ball and bat. His brilliant performance with the bat came in the group match against Australia where he went on to score his first half century making 60 runs in a long and stable partnership with Inzamam-ul-Haq, which helped Pakistan reach a defendable target of 275. Pakistan went on to win the match by ten runs and as a result qualified for the Super Six stage. With the ball, he made a brilliant performance against the tough West Indian cricket team by taking three wickets for 32 runs having three maiden overs, which proved decisive for Pakistan at Bristol.
Razzaq's other impressive performances came during the Carlton & United Series at Australia in a tri-nation tournament involving Pakistan, Australia and India in 2000. Razzaq achieved the man of the series award for his best all round performances, especially in a pre-finals match against India, where he scored 70 not out with the bat and took 5 wickets for 43 runs, thus becoming the fifth all-rounder to have scored a half century and take five wickets in a match.
In the first match of the series against Australia, he took 4 wickets and played an important role for Pakistan helping them to successfully defend a very low target of just 187 runs at Brisbane. In the third match of the series, Razzaq came into prominence after hitting five consecutive boundaries in the fifth over of Australian pacer Glenn McGrath. Eventually Pakistan was defeated in the finals by Australia but Razzaq was named player of the series for his all-round performance.
In 2000, Razzaq became the youngest cricketer in the world to take a Test cricket hat trick in a match against Sri Lanka. He has scored three centuries and twenty two fifties in One Day International matches. His highest score was 112 runs, against South Africa in 2002, where he shared a partnership of 257 runs with Pakistani batsman Saleem Elahi. His second century was scoring 107 runs not out in a match against Zimbabwe in 2004. During this match, he saved Pakistan from a disastrous start and eventually won them the match. His first fifty came in 90 deliveries, before accelerating in the second fifty runs, which was scored in just 21 balls. Also in 2003–2004, he scored 89 runs from 40 balls against New Zealand, whose captain Stephen Fleming called him the "best hitter" in the world. In January 2005, He was involved in the ACC Asian XI that took on the ICC World XI in the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal charity match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.
As a fast bowler, Razzaq experienced a steady decline in speed and performance during the 2003 cricket World Cup and 2004. In this period he was used as a supporting bowler. However, from 2005 to the end of 2006, he regained his speed and he has won many matches for Pakistan with his bowling. His best bowling figures in a One Day International match is 6 wickets for 35 runs. His other excellent performance arrived against Sri Lanka at Sharjah in 1999, where Pakistan were all out for 196 runs and he took 5 wickets for 31 runs to draw the match. During the 2005–2006 Test match series against India, Razzaq took 9 wickets and scored 205 runs in two Test matches he played, which resulted in an improvement of his performance. His batting remained generally consistent from 2000 to 2006, although his place on the Test team was never secure.
Razzaq's place in the Pakistan national team has been marred by injuries and absences. In 2005 it was revealed that he was suffering from an addiction to spinach, which was causing him to suffer from nausea and sickness while playing. This led to him being known as 'Popeye' by his team mates. In 2007, a poor performance in a series with both the bat and ball, in a match against South Africa, accompanied with an injury that forced him out of the 2007 cricket World Cup, saw him dropped from the 2007 World Twenty20, a decision that received widespread criticism from cricket individuals.
On 20 August 2007, Razzaq announced his retirement from international cricket as a protest against his omission from the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 squad. However, on 27 October 2007 Razzaq revoked his decision following discussions with his local cricket club and coach, saying, Maybe I made that (decision to retire) in the heat of the moment.
He signed up for the Indian Cricket League and played for the Hyderabad Heroes as one of their star players. He eventually severed ties with the league in September 2008 and by June 2010 he returned to the Pakistan fold along with Mohammad Yousuf.
In 2009, he was selected into Pakistan's squad for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England as a replacement for injured fast bowler Yasir Arafat, marking his return to International cricket and becoming the first Indian Cricket League player, whose ban was lifted by the Pakistan Cricket Board. He played an important role in Pakistan's victory in the tournament, taking 5 wickets at an average of 14.80 and an economy rate of 5.92. His figures of 3 wickets for 20 runs played a significant role in Pakistan's victory against Sri Lanka in the final. As a result, he along with another former Indian Cricket League player Mohammad Yousuf, were awarded ‘A’ category mid-term central contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
In the 2009–2010 season, Razzaq missed out on the tours of New Zealand and Australia, due to injury. However, he was selected in the two match Twenty20 International series against England in February 2010. His innings of 46 runs not out from 18 deliveries in the second match of the series, cemented Pakistan a victory, their first in eleven international outings.
In July 2010, Razzaq played in the two T20Is against Australia as Pakistan won both matches comfortably. He wasn't selected for the Test series against Australia and England and next played in the September 2010 Twenty20 and ODI series against England. Razzaq missed the first two ODI's against England because of a back-strain as Pakistan lost both matches. He returned to the third ODI and scored 31 runs in a fruitful partnership with Shahid Afridi before Afridi was run out and Razzaq was subsequently caught in the deep square leg as Pakistan were bowled out for 241. England opened the innings strongly before Umar Gul removed six batsmen and Razzaq took two wickets to seal a 23-run victory for Pakistan.
On 31 October 2010, in the second One Day International against South Africa, Razzaq played a match-winning innings of 109* off 72 balls at a strike rate of 151.38, his third One Day International century. The innings which contained seven fours and ten sixes saw Pakistan to a one-wicket win with one ball remaining and level the 5-match series 1–1.
Razzaq struggled with the bat in the first two Twenty20's against New Zealand but he did perform admirably with the ball taking out Jesse Ryder for a golden duck in the second Twenty20. During the third match Razzaq blasted 34 of just 11 balls in an innings that included 3 fours and 3 sixes. This innings helped Pakistan push their total onto 184. Razzaq then did the damage with the ball taking the leading run scorer of the series Martin Guptill out for a duck and then took two more top order wickets of Ross Taylor (Leg-before) and clean bowled James Franklin. For this superb all round perform coupled with a 103 run victory for Pakistan Razzaq won man of the match. However two early losses in the series meant New Zealand won the series 2–1.
Razzaq was included in Pakistan's 15-man squad for the 2011 World Cup hosted by Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka between February and April. His role was to open the bowling and bat down the order. In his first two matches, he had faced just 10 balls, however he scored 20 not out from 24 balls against Australia to guide Pakistan to victory, ending Australia's string of 34 matches in World Cups without defeat.