Usman Qadir eyes selection in Australian team as well as citizenship

Usman Qadir eyes selection in Australian team as well as citizenship

Qadir is not yet eligible to play for Australia.

Usman Qadir
Usman Qadir. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Usman Qadir, son of former Pakistani leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, aims to represent Australia at the next World T20 while he strives for eligibility to play Down Under. Qadir played his first game in Australian colours on Wednesday, claiming impressive figures of 3/28 for the Prime Minister’s XI’s that surprisingly defeated the mighty South Africans in a tour game.

The Proteas are preparing for a limited-overs series against Australia, which will be the first time the two teams take to the field since the Newlands ball-tampering scandal. Usman first played grade cricket in Adelaide in 2013. Last summer he took 36 wickets in six Sydney grade games. He was spotted by the current head coach of the Australian team Justin Langer, who then invited the youngster to Perth’s Big Bash training.

The 25-year-old was immediately signed by the Scorchers this season and made his Sheffield Shield debut for Western Australia this summer. However, Qadir is yet to be declared eligible to play for Australia but will soon apply for a distinguished talent visa which should allow him to stay in the country. He then aims to earn citizenship and permanent residency in the near future.

Would love to play Test or ODIs for Australia

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said, “My goal is to play for Australia in 2020 in the T20 World Cup. Before that if I get the opportunity to play for Australia in a Test or one-day cricket I would love that.” Qadir has in the meantime focused his attention on the shorter forms of the game, with the ultimate goal of representing Australian in T20Is.

His father Abdul Qadir was an exceptional leg-spinner himself, having bagged 236 wickets in 67 matches for Pakistan during a span of 13 years between 1977 and 1990.

Batting first at Canberra on Wednesday, South Africa were bundled out for a mere 173, without having batted the full 50 overs. Jason Behrendorff and Usman Qadir got three-fors, the latter finishing with the best figures of the match. “I’m very happy I gave only 28 runs in 10 overs with one maiden and three wickets. It’s pretty good. I just concentrate on that because nowadays cricket is getting very fast. The legspinner usually give 55 runs in 10 overs,” said Qadir after the game.

The first of three ODIs between Australia and South Africa gets underway on November 4 at the Perth Stadium. Meanwhile, the lone T20I will be played at the new Carrara Oval in Queensland on November 17.

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