Razzaq made his One Day International
debut in November 1996, against Zimbabwe
, but had to wait just over three years to make his Test cricket
debut for Pakistan, eventually doing so against Australia
on November 1999. In the 1999–2000 Carlton and United Series
, he rose to fame and was named man of the series for his all round performance. During a match in Hobart
, Razzaq scored a half century and took five wickets. In the same tournament, he hit former Australian fast bowler, Glenn McGrath
for 5 fours, which totaled to 20 runs in one over.
1999 Cricket World Cup
Razzaq became a regular member of his national side during the 1999 world cup
held in England. During the event, he got the attention of selectors as he performed well both with the ball and bat. His brilliant performance with the bat came in the group match against Australia, where he went on to score his first half century making 60 runs in a long and stable partnership with Inzamam-ul-Haq
, which helped Pakistan reach a defendable target of 275.
Pakistan went on to win the match by ten runs and as a result qualified for the Super Six stage.
With the ball, he made a brilliant performance against the tough West Indian cricket team
by taking three wickets for 32 runs having three maiden overs, which proved decisive for Pakistan at Bristol
2000 Carlton & United Series
Razzaq’s other impressive performances came during the Carlton & United Series at Australia
in a tri-nation tournament involving Pakistan
in 2000. Razzaq achieved the man of the series award for his best all round performances, especially in a pre-finals match against India, where he scored 70 not out with the bat and took 5 wickets for 43 runs, thus becoming the fifth all-rounder to have scored a half century and take five wickets in a match; the other four players being Sachin Tendulkar
, Kapil Dev
, Ian Botham
and Sourav Ganguly
; Shahid Afridi
subsequently achieved the feat. In the first match of the series against Australia, he took 4 wickets and played an important role for Pakistan helping them to successfully defend a very low target of just 187 runs at Brisbane
. In the third match of the series, Razzaq came into prominence after hitting five consecutive boundaries in the fifth over of Australian pacer Glenn McGrath
. Eventually Pakistan was defeated in the finals by Australia but Razzaq was named player of the series for his all-round performance.
In 2000, Razzaq became the youngest cricketer in the world to take a Test cricket hat trick
in a match against Sri Lanka
. He has scored three centuries and twenty two fifties in One Day International matches. His highest score was 112 runs, against South Africa
in 2002, where he shared a partnership of 257 runs with Pakistani batsman Saleem Elahi
. His second century was scoring 107 runs not out in a match against Zimbabwe
in 2004. During this match, he saved Pakistan from a disastrous start and eventually won them the match. His first fifty came in 90 deliveries, before accelerating in the second fifty runs, which was scored in just 21 balls. Also in 2003–2004, he scored 89 runs from 40 balls against New Zealand
, whose captain Stephen Fleming
called him the “best hitter” in the world.
In January 2005, He was involved in the ACC Asian XI that took on the ICC World XI in the World Cricket Tsunami Appeal
charity match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
As a fast bowler, Razzaq experienced a steady decline in speed and performance during the 2003 cricket World Cup
and 2004. During this period, he remained as a supporting bowler. However, from 2005 to the end of 2006, he regained his speed and he won many matches for Pakistan with his bowling. His best bowling figures in a One Day International match is 6 wickets for 35 runs. His another notable performance was against Sri Lanka at Sharjah
in 1999, where Pakistan was all out for 196 runs and he took 5 wickets for 31 runs to draw the match. During the 2005–2006 Test match series against India, Razzaq took 9 wickets and scored 205 runs in two Test matches he played, which resulted in an improvement of his performance. His batting remained generally consistent from 2000 to 2006, although his place on the Test team was never secure.
Razzaq’s place in the Pakistan national team has been marred by injuries and absences. In 2005 it was revealed that he was suffering from an addiction to spinach
, which was causing him to suffer from nausea and sickness while playing. This led to him being known as ‘Popeye’ by his team mates.
In 2007, a poor performance in a series with both the bat and ball, in a match against South Africa, accompanied with an injury that forced him out of the 2007 cricket World Cup
, had him dropped from the 2007 World Twenty20
, a decision that received widespread criticism from cricket individuals.
Temporary retirement in 2007
In 2009, he was selected into Pakistan’s squad for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20
in England as a replacement for injured fast bowler Yasir Arafat
, marking his return to International cricket and becoming the first Indian Cricket League player, whose ban was lifted by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
He played an important role in Pakistan’s victory in the tournament, taking 5 wickets at an average of 14.80 and an economy rate of 5.92. His figures of 3 wickets for 20 runs, played a significant role in Pakistan’s victory against Sri Lanka in the final. As a result, he along with another former Indian Cricket League player Mohammad Yousuf
were awarded ‘A’ category mid-term central contracts by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
In the 2009–2010 season, Razzaq missed out on the tours of New Zealand and Australia, due to injury. However he was selected in the two match Twenty20 International series
in February 2010. His innings of 46 runs not out from 18 deliveries in the second match of the series, cemented Pakistan a victory, their first in eleven international outings.
On 30 December when playing in a game for the Melbourne Renagades
, former Australian cricketer Mark Waugh
described Razzaq as a “cardboard cut out” based on his appeared disinterest when playing.
ODI return: against New Zealand
Upon his ODI return, he played a fine little cameo for Pakistan with the bat scoring 23 runs of 20 deliveries and pushed the score to 287. New Zealand needed 288 to win and Razzaq took the key wicktes of Scott Styris
and Jacob Oram
to ensure that Pakistan thrash New Zealand by 141 runs. In the second ODI, he took the wickets of Martin Guptill
(62) and Daniel Vettori
on (30). Despite this, New Zealand ended the innings at 303/8. Pakistan collapsed to 239 all out, with Razzaq scoring 35 runs. With the series levelled 1–1 Pakistan went into the third ODI and bowled New Zealand out for 211. Despite this Pakistan suffered a top order collapse at 79/7 with Younis Khan
, Salman Butt
, Khalid Latif
, Shoaib Malik
, Kamran Akmal
, Umar Akmal
and Shahid Afridi
falling cheaply. The Razzaq came in and registered a duck as he was run out by Vettori. Gul fell cheaply as well but Pakistan still got agonizingly close to victory, when Mohammad Amir
and Saeed Ajmal
were engaged in a 103 run partnership before Ajmal top edged a pull on the first ball of the last over as Pakistan were seven runs short of victory.
Hand injury: No participation against Australia
Razzaq picked up a hand injury just before the first ODI against Australia and missed the whole five match series and the only Twenty20 match. He was hit on the hand while batting during the practice sessions
The series turned out to be a forgettable one of Pakistan as Mohammad Yousuf
and Younis Khan
received life bans (overturned 2 months later) for inflicting fighting in the team. Also Rana Naved-ul-Hasan
was given a one-year ban along with Shoaib Malik
being banned for a year all were overturned on appeal. Amid the fighting Pakistan lost the five match series 5–0 and the only Twenty20 match as well.
Top all-round form (2010)
With players like Younis Khan
, Mohammad Yousuf
and Shoaib Malik
suffering from selection issues, it was Razzaq who took up the role of a senior player in the Pakistan cricket team. He was selected in the squad for the 2010 ICC World Twenty20
and performed admirably with the bat scoring five sixes during the tournament. Pakistan crashed out of the tournament after losing to Australia in the semi-final. Razzaq then took part in the 2010 Asia Cup
In July 2010, Razzaq played in the two T20Is against Australia as Pakistan won both matches comfortably. He wasn’t selected for the Test series against Australia and England and next played in the September 2010 Twenty20 and ODI series against England
. The Pakistan team had been surrounded by Spot-fixing
allegations as the team lost both Twenty20 matches due to low morale. Razzaq missed the first two ODI’s against England because of a back-strain as Pakistan lost both matches. He returned to the third ODI and scored 31 runs in a fruitful partnership with Shahid Afridi
before Afridi was run out and Razzaq was subsequently caught in the deep square leg as Pakistan were bowled out for 241. England opened the innings strongly before Umar Gul
removed six batsmen and Razzaq took two wickets to seal a 23-run victory for Pakistan.
Razzaq’s lower order destruction also became helpful for his domestic team the Lahore Lions
as he scored 138 runs from his four innings including a superb 73* in the final to help guide his team to victory in the 2010-11 Faysal Bank Twenty-20 Cup
On 31 October 2010, in the second One Day International against South Africa
, Razzaq played a match-winning innings of 109* off 72 balls at a strike rate of 151.38, his third One Day International century. The innings which contained seven fours and ten sixes saw Pakistan to a one-wicket win with one ball remaining and level the 5-match series 1–1.
Series against New Zealand, World Cup Preparation (2011)
Razzaq struggled with the bat in the first two Twenty20’s against New Zealand but he did perform admirably with the ball taking out Jesse Ryder
for a golden duck in the second Twenty20. During the third match Razzaq blased 34 of just 11 balls in an innings that included 3 fours and 3 sixes. This innings helped Pakistan push their total onto 184. Razzaq then did the damage with the ball taking the leading run scorer of the series Martin Guptill
out for a duck and then took two more top order wickets of Ross Taylor
(Leg-before) and clean bowled James Franklin
. For this superb all round perform coupled with a 103 run victory for Pakistan Razzaq won man of the match. However two early losses in the series meant New Zealand won the series 2–1.[1