LAHORE – Pakistan’s Hasan Ali has officially become the world’s best one-day bowler, with an early career record surpassing even legendary fast pacer Waqar Younis.
The 23-year-old took nine wickets in series with Sri Lanka so far which saw him rising to the top of MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings.
Hasan became the joint third fastest bowler to claim 50 one-day wickets with the mark achieved in 23 matches, the same number as Australian icon Dennis Lillee and four games fewer than Waqar.
Since making his ODI debut against Ireland in August in 2016, Hasan is the leading wicket taker with 54 victims. He is also the best this year with 43 wickets in 17 matches.
“It’s a dream come true,” Hasan said after achieving the feat. “I set many goals in my childhood and to be the world number one bowler was amongst the top.”
Hasan has helped Pakistan to a 4-0 lead in the current series against Sri Lanka with 12 wickets, including 5-34 in Abu Dhabi.
— Hasan Ali (@RealHa55an) October 18, 2017
He also played a leading role in Pakistan’s Champions Trophy win in June in England where he finished with 13 wickets and was named player of the tournament.
Hasan first played cricket in his native town of Ladhay Wala Wraich near Gujranwala, an area famous for producing wrestlers and kabbadi players.
Recruited as an emerging player, Hasan was mentored by former England coach Andy Flower and ex-Pakistan paceman Mohammad Akram.
Former Pakistan captain and legendary paceman Waqar praised Hasan but warned against piling too much pressure on his shoulders.
— waqar younis (@waqyounis99) October 19, 2017
“His rise is phenomenal,” Waqar said.”But since a lot of events have happened in Pakistan cricket I would like to see Hasan and other talented youngsters be mentored properly so that they don’t get lost.”
Waqar was referring to Mohammad Amir’s rise in 2009 before his career was derailed in a spot-fixing case a year later.
This year Pakistan has lost dashing opener Sharjeel Khan, banned for five years with two others suspended in a PSL spot fixing case.
“Hasan and other youngsters are assets for our cricket and they can carry our cricket forward. We cannot afford another jolt so I advice they should be monitored and mentored,” said Waqar.
Moreover, Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez also is back again as the best All-rounder in the world taking over Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan.
South Africa batsman AB de Villiers has once again grabbed the top position in the latest ranking updates carried out on Friday.
An astonishing knock of 176 by de Villiers in the second ODI against Bangladesh in Paarl, which consisted of 15 fours and seven sixes and came off only 104 balls, has also helped South Africa edge India at the top of the ICC team rankings by taking a 2-0 winning lead in the three-match series.
De Villiers, who has leapfrogged Australian David Warner and India captain Virat Kohli, had first attained top position on 30 May 2010 and the number of days he has spent at the top is second most after retired Windies great Vivian Richards. De Villiers has now been at the top for 2,124 days while Richards was number one for 2,306 days.
Other batsmen to move up include Pakistan’s Babar Azam (up two places to a career-best fourth position), the South African pair of Quinton de Kock (up three places to fifth) and Hashim Amla (up two places to ninth), and Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim (up five places to 18th).