Pakistan has always produced some of the best fast bowlers in the world. From Imran Khan to Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis to Shoaib Akhtar, pacers who have terrorised even the most experienced batsmen on pitch.
And now meet Yasir Jan. He is fast, furious and ambidextrous. Yes Jan can bowl with both his left and right and with equal precision.
The 21 year old, touted as Pakistan's only ambidextrous fast bowler, was spotted by Pakistan Super League franchise Lahore Qalandars during the first edition of its Rising Stars Program in 2016.
Recently, Yasir Jan also demanded that ICC should allow ambidextrous bowlers to surprise batsmen by changing arms without warning, just like it has allowed the switch hit law. As per rules, when a batsman plays switch hit, is not required to inform neither the umpire nor the bowler. On the other hand, when a bowler changes his arm from right to left, he needs to communicate that to the batsman beforehand.
There aren’t too many cricketers bowling in such a manner at the international stage. However, Pakistani legend Hanif Mohammad had done it once. Even England opener and skipper Graham Gooch showcased his ambidextrous talent in matches that headed for a draw. Sri Lankan Hashan Tillakaratne, who was a left-handed batsman pulled off ambidextrous bowling in 1996 World Cup game against Kenya.
India, however, isn't too far behind. While the visiting Australians thrashed Board President's XI by 103 runs in a practice match, Vidarbha spinner Akshay Karnewar's special skills made him a raging topic in the dressing room. His ambidextrous skills during the warm-up match has even astonished Australia batsman Marcus Stoinis.Having begun his career as an off-spinner, Karnewar was eventually convinced to try left-arm bowling as well, and there couldn’t have been a better stage than this to showcase his capability. His skills are well known at the domestic level. It was first discovered during Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2016 when BCCI's official website posted a clip of him bowling both off-spin and left-arm spin.