Shaiman Anwar, The Batting 'Prince' of UAE in Cricket World Cup 2015
Shaiman Anwar has scored 278 runs with an average of 67.50 and a strike rate of 100 in the cricket World Cup 2015. He has already hit a hundred against Ireland and now has two fifties against Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
Go to the ICC World Cup official website. Navigate to the statistics zone and then search for the highest scorer of the World Cup 2015, till now. There's Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakkara and Hashim Amla in the top 5 but the name that tops the list is Shaiman Anwar.
UAE last played the World Cup in 1996 and failed to impress. Their captain Sultan Zarawani grabbed the headlines for two reasons -- he had more sports cars than ODI runs and he dared to bat against Allan Donald without a helmet and got hit on his head! (Cramped Schedule Forces Dhoni to Admit India Can't Help UAE)
This World Cup they have a player who is turning heads for cricketing reasons. Shaiman Anwar -- a name most cricket fans didn't know before the start of the World Cup. While choosing teams for fantasy leagues, one might have scrolled through the UAE side for some cheap buys but few would have selected Anwar in their team.
Those who did, should be smiling now. (Vasai boy Swapnil Patil disappoints)
There were the odd stories about the Mumbai-born Swapnil Patil and the 'Karate-kid' Krishna from Kerala but half-way through the pool phase, Anwar is ruffling a few feathers with his exploits with the willow.
Till now, in four games, Anwar has scored 278 runs with an average of 67.50 and a strike rate of exactly 100. He has already hit a hundred against Ireland and now has two fifties against Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
In UAE's domestic cricket league, Anwar has a reputation of being a big hitter. He's known for his ability to hit sixes but during his teenage days, he modelled his technique on the Indian great Rahul Dravid.
Hailing from Sialkot, Anwar started his cricket career in the domestic leagues of Pakistan and even featured in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy but a job offer from the shipping industry saw him move base to the United Arab Emirates back in 2007. The job paid the bills but the passion for cricket stuck. His company Consolidated Shipping Services had a cricket team and Anwar got a chance to show his skills for them.
Since then, he didn't turn back. Success in club cricket resulted in national call-up and in February 2014, Anwar made his limited overs debut for the United Arab Emirates against Scotland. It wasn't a dream debut. He scored just three runs. The season didn't go according to plan either. In the first six matches, Anwar struggled and could manage only 78 runs, with a top score of unbeaten 26. (As It Happened: Pakistan vs UAE)
However, a fifty against Afghanistan before the World Cup handed Anwar a World Cup berth and Down Under, he has been a revelation. He has grabbed his opportunity with both hands and his batting efforts have focused the spot light on him.
UAE will not go through to the next round, hence Anwar will get a couple more innings to showcase his talent on the biggest spectacle of cricket. He has already made his mark but another good innings against a top side, will etch the name Shaiman Anwar into UAE cricket history, forever.