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Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has heaped praise on Pakistan pace bowler Hasan Ali for his meteoric rise in international cricket.
Hasan stole the spotlight for Pakistan over and over again in 2017, especially in ODI cricket as he took the most wickets in the format last year with 45 victims at an average of 17.04.
In addition to this, he played an instrumental role in leading Pakistan to their first-ever Champions Trophy title in June as he was named Player of the Tournament for taking 13 wickets in five games at an average of 14.69.
Hasan started 2017 in 75th place and ended the year at the summit of the rankings for ODI bowlers.
However, in the recent limited overs series in New Zealand, Hasan has started to make his presence felt with the bat as well.
While he took six wickets in four games, he also struck a sensational half-century in the second ODI in Nelson.
As for the Twenty20 series that followed, Hasan had a rare dip in form as he only took one wicket.
However, given his consistent performances since the start of 2017, Sammy admitted that the 24-year-old is the real deal.
“He (Hasan Ali) backs himself; he won the great moments, he wants to be the guy that wins it for the team, when you have that kind of mentality and confidence that means you fear nothing,” Sammy was quoted as saying by the Business Recorder. “He could pass as a West Indian, the flair he has, you know the excitement he brings, and his celebration is something special.
“I must commend Mohammad Akram, since Hasan started in the first season, but Mohammad Akram always said that this kid is special, and look we have seen what he’s done.”
Wasim Akram, arguably the greatest bowler Pakistan ever produced, echoed Sammy’s sentiments, saying: “He has got pace, he has got good variation and on top of that I reckon he got a great attitude. The minute I saw him, I said this guy got the spark, because he runs in, he sprints in, he is fit, he’s got good variations for the shorter format and I think he’s got a bright future ahead, and he is on the right track mentally as well.”