Derbyshire Cricket – Peakfan’s blog: Haider Ali signs for 2023!

Haider Ali, eh?

That is a very bold and innovative signing by Mickey Arthur in picking up one of Pakistan’s hottest batting prospects for all formats for the 2023 season, subject to his international commitments.

While he has played a fair amount of the latter for a young man of just 22, he is not currently a first pick, so Derbyshire may perhaps see more of him than we did Shan Masood last year.

He is a completely different player, of course. Where Masood is essentially a sheet anchor, a Roundhead if you will, Haider is a Cavalier, an entertainer, capable of reaching and clearing the boundary on a regular basis. He has a good range of strokes and while typical English early season wickets will prove a fresh challenge for him, Arthur will know him well and be confident that he can rise to that challenge.

It would be wrong, I think, to expect him to replicate the exploits of Masood last year. He is much less experienced and a totally different kind of player. Nor will he have cost so much, as a young man with a reputation to build. 

He most frequently bats in the middle order and will certainly offer valuable firepower in the Vitality Blast. But there are suggestions that he has been signed to open the batting, which is interesting. It will test him, but may also see an enhancement to and strengthening of his technique.

As for the middle order…Guest, Madsen, du Plooy, Lamb and Dal is a serious lineup, not forgetting Tom Wood. There should be high level, high octane entertainment this summer.

I can only say that if Haider discovers his best form early, then he could be the missing link in this side. He is an entertainer, albeit one who will want to see his one-day averages head northwards. Coming to the county game, as for so many before, could be the making of him. He will better learn to go through the gears, rather than aiming to get from nought to sixty in no time but perhaps to the detriment of his average.

Here he is below, showing what he can do from YouTube. 

Those tickets look like being in high demand this season!

Welcome to Derbyshire, Haider.

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