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'Fighter' Hasan on a road to find his mojo

Lahore, 19 August 2022: He has done it in the past, and he has set himself on a course to do it again. It is in his DNA to fight the odds and rise through the toughest of the challenges. He overcame a career-threatening back injury to stage a comeback for the ages, reverse-swinging Pakistan to a 95-run win in the second of the two Tests against South Africa in Rawalpindi as the hosts completed a whitewash. Hasan recorded his maiden match-haul of 10 wickets that included a five-for in each innings.

Hasan Ali is unperturbed by his recent axing from the national side following a string of ordinary performances. The fighter in him has set his eyes on another comeback, and for the purpose he is working with the National High Performance Centre’s coaches in Lahore.

“My performances have not been up to the mark and I am disappointed because of that,” Hasan told PCB Digital at the sidelines of one of his skills sessions. But that’s life; one day you are up and the next you are down. I am here at the National High Performance Centre to work with coaches. I am working on the technical, tactical and mental aspects and looking forward to regain the rhythm and stage a comeback in the national side.”

The hunger is there. And, he wants to use the platform of the National T20, in which top domestic cricketers of the shorter format will come face-to-face, to find that mojo. “I have an opportunity to showcase my skills in the National T20 and earn back the confidence of the selection committee, team management and captain to re-enter the national side.”

Following that comeback in 2021, Hasan’s thunderbolts – that seamed and swung, sometimes giving an expression of doing so at his will – helped the right-arm fast bowler take 41 Test wickets in the year – the third most for a bowler that calendar year.

“I am a fighter and I don’t give up,” he said. “Two years back when I was out due to injury, I made a comeback after performing in a domestic tournament (Quaid-e-Azam Trophy). Domestic cricket is a very important platform. It helps you to understand your game better and play with some quality cricketers. I will try to perform in the upcoming season so I make my international comeback soon.”

The form might be temporary for Hasan, as it is with the cricketers around the world, but one thing that is perennial is his exuberance. There is never a dull moment with him around. When asked about his lively persona, Hasan chuckled and said: “Why should I not be happy. I enjoy every moment. I try to keep myself and people around me happy.”