Every cricketer dreams of playing for their country, and that dream has come true for Haris Rauf. He has earned himself a well-deserved call up to the Pakistani national squad for the T20 series against Bangladesh. He will be quite lucky to make his debut if given the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd as international cricket gradually returns to Pakistan.
In November last year, Haris Rauf was playing first-grade cricket in Tasmania, Australia, with Glenorchy Cricket Club. Since then, he has had a remarkable change of fortune. Fortunately for him, Dale Steyn arrived to the Big Bash League with an injury, which meant that the Melbourne stars had to find the last hour addition in their squad and ended up picking Haris Rauf as their temporary injury replacement.
The rest is history.
Haris Rauf picked up 16 wickets with an average of 11.56 in the 7 matches he played for the Melbourne Stars, which included a hattrick. His first few strong performances cemented his place in the squad, not as an injury-substitute member but a regular starter.
Man of the day Alhamdolillah!
Hey @DaleSteyn62 I am done with all what you had wished for me today. MoM, Hat Trick & knocked them all-around.
I am very happy with my performance, efforts are paying off & InshaAllah will keep the same in future.#BBL09 #MelbourneStars pic.twitter.com/PCZkbSkdrg
— Haris Rauf (@HarisRauf14) January 9, 2020
His pace, skills, and passion won him fans all over Australia, and he became an instant star. These performances sent waves around the cricketing world, waves of such a magnitude that the Pakistan Cricket Board could not ignore him, and they recently picked him for the T20 series against Bangladesh.
His journey was not simple by any means though. He had to go through a few phases to get to where he is today. A couple of years ago, he was just like any other cricketer playing street cricket as a hobby until he showed up at the Lahore Qalandar trials in Gujranwala. There he got the attention of Aqib Javed, who, as a coach, snapped him up for their development program.
— Geo Super (@geosupertv) January 23, 2020
Since then, Harif Rauf has traveled and trained through this program. As a part of it, he was sent to Australia to improve his skills and gain more experience. Later on, he played the T20 tournament in Abu Dhabi and finally had the opportunity to represent Lahore Qalandars in PSL 4.
Haris Rauf has always said he intended to play for Pakistan in his interviews, and with the T20 world cup coming up this year in Australia, he has made himself a strong candidate to represent his country at the biggest stage.
This will be key for the team considering the dismal performance of their fast bowlers in Australia recently.
All is glamour for now, but we will have have to wait and see how far Harris’ fairytale journey takes him.