The young telent from Attock who plays for Rawalpindi and featured in the recent T20 tournament in Faisalabad. Azam first rose to fame in the U-19 Worldcup in New Zealand where he score 173 runs in 6 matches including an unbeaten 92 in the semi-final to stear Pakistan into the finals. His fighting spirit was also evident in the quarter-final when he stood firm against India to beat them out of the tournament. A match which was considered as a rematch of the 2006 Worldcup final where Pakistan had beaten India in a thriller. The Indians were looking to even things but Azam batted with the tail enders to pull off a last over victory scoring 21 off 13 and more importantly hold one end rock solid.
In the August 2010 tour of Srilanka by the Pakistan A team, Azam smashed 63 off 54 balls to help his team to another stunning victory. Maybe not the best of batsman, but he surely is a strong fighter. His fighting spirit is of the calibre of fellow team-mate Saeed Ajmal who also has a strong fighting spirit and doesn’t give up hope till the last delivery. In a match with South Africa A, he smashed 14 off just 4 balls in the last over to again steer his team to victory.
A young telented and forward looking player, Azam was named in T20 Worldcup 2010 squad held in the West Indies. He sat through the whole tournament and wasn’t given a single match. Later in the West Indies tour under the captaincy of the popular turned political captain, Shahid Afridi. Afridi used him in the worst possible way, more like they way he uses Abdul Razzak. In the first match, Hammad Azam was not given the ball and did not get to bat either. In the second match, he was used as the 6th bowler but did not get to bat. In the third ODI again he was used as the 6th bowler and bowled just 2 overs. But he did get to bat this time and scored 36. In the 4th ODI he was again the 6th bowler and bowled just 1 over. By the fifth match, the captain and the selection committee had figured out that he was not international cricketing material since he does not even get the ball to bowl.
He did get a chance in the 2 match ODI series in Ireland where he played in the second match. He batted for 2 balls and scored 1 run. But this time since the captain was Misbah ul Haq, Hammad Azam did get to bowl full 10 overs but he remained wicketless.
Now he has been dropped from the squad, I wonder what the selection committee had been able to judged in such a sparingly use of a young telented player. But I am 100% sure that he will get another chance, not because he will improve his game, but because the selection committee would soon be looking to further improve the team by dropping out whoever has been selected in his place and giving him another chance. But would that third chance make him a permanent member of the team, I just wonder?