SIALKOT: Medium pacer Mohammad Abbas, who took his maiden ten-wicket haul in a match to fire Pakistan to a 373-run win over Australia in the second Test, returned to the country to a hero’s welcome on Saturday.
It would not be wrong if we say that, Mohammad Abbas receives hero’s welcome on arrival in home city Sialkot
Speaking to the media at Sialkot airport, the 28-year-old who hails from Sambrial Tehsil, said, “I knew that one day God would reward me for my hard work.”
“My aim was that I perform in whatever condition there is,” he added. “I received a lot of opportunities but chose to focus on my cricket. I am not ashamed of the fact that I have worked as a welder before and done other odd jobs.”
Abbas, who was awarded the Man-of-the-Match as well as Man-of-the-Series, continued, “No one from my area has represented Pakistan in a Test match before.”
Thanking those who gathered at the airport to receive him, the medium pacer said, “I am always available for those seeking to play cricket.”
“I will continue to perform,” he further vowed.
It was Abbas, 28, who destroyed Australia with a haul of 17 wickets in the series — becoming the first Pakistani fast bowler to take ten wickets in a Test since Mohammad Asif did so against Sri Lanka at Kandy in 2006.
A decade ago, Abbas was working as an office boy in a court, registering documents for cases related to real estate. Before that, he was a welder and a factory worker.
For Abbas, who hails from Sambrial Tehsil in Sialkot District, cricket has been his lifeline ever since the youngest years of his life.
“He has been a cricket fanatic since childhood. I never stopped him,” his proud father Mohammad Ilyas told Geo News.
Even during the gruelling years spent working as a welder, Abbas never left cricket, even when it meant heading straight to the cricket grounds after longs hours in the factory.
Known for bowling his precise wicket-to-wicket deliveries, Abbas idolises Glenn McGrath, Shaun Pollock, and James Anderson for their lines and lengths. He also played Grade II cricket for two years with Mohammad Asif, who he says influenced his bowling significantly.