SYDNEY: The son of Pakistan spin-bowling great Abdul Qadir, was named in a Prime Minister´s XI to face South Africa on Friday, inching a little closer to his goal of one day representing Australia.
The 25-year-old Usman Qadir, a leg-spinner like his father, moved to Australia to play for in 2016 and is hoping to become a citizen in 2020 and represent his adopted nation in the Twenty20 World Cup later that same year.
The Prime Minister´s XI is traditionally a mix of promising youngsters with experienced internationals whose time in the Australia side has come to an end and the side named to play South Africa in Canberra on Oct. 31 was no exception.
Captained by former Australia Twenty20 skipper George Bailey and with former test opener Chris Rogers at the top of batting order, the team also includes sprinkling of fringe national team and Australia A representatives.
Qadir earned his spot on the back of a promising start to his time in state competition with Western Australia, taking 3-50 on debut against Victoria in a one-dayer last month.
His fellow Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed played three ODIs and two T20s for Australia after claiming asylum in the country in 2010, while current test opener Usman Khawaja was born in Islamabad before emigrating to Australia as a child.
Earlier, Usman Qadir, son of legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, quit Pakistan and opted to play for Australia.
The 25-year-old made his debut in Western Australia where he picked 3 wickets for 50 runs as the Warriors crushed Victoria by six wickets in their JLT Cup match at Junction Oval, where like father, his wrong-un was too good for the Australians.
“No more Pakistan. I want to play for Australia definitely, 100%, because I didn’t get any chances in Pakistan,” said Usman after WA’s win on Wednesday according to ESPNcricinfo.
He played first-class cricket in Pakistan, where he failed to make any impact, but moved to Australia in 2016 and last summer played grade cricket in Sydney.
Usman had previously harboured ambitions to follow his father and play for Pakistan, but became disillusioned with the running of the sport in the country, which he says was infested with politics. “There is politics. I did not get any chances [in Pakistan],” he said.
Usman has already signed as a replacement player with the Big Bash League’s Perth Scorchers, and is eyeing a move to WA to play grade cricket, and potentially in the Sheffield Shield.
In the longer-term, Usman is hopeful of following in the footsteps of Fawad Ahmed by obtaining Australian citizenship, and is eyeing a place in the Kangaroos squad for the 2020 World T20.
“My aim is to perform well in Australia,” he said. “Hopefully I will get citizenship in two years’ time. My goal is to play for Australia at the 2020 World T20.”
His father took 236 wickets in 67 Test matches for Pakistan and is widely considered one of the best leg-spinners in country’s history.