Player Profile - Mahmood Hamid

With the Over-50s Cricket World Cup just over a month away, we continue our profiling of key players from every team.

Today we look at a new member of the Pakistan side … Mahmood Hamid.

Hamid made his first-class debut on his 18th birthday, in 1987, and now, 33 years later, is set to make his Over-50s International debut for Pakistan.

While he only scored 3 and 0 on that debut, Hamid went on to have a very distinguished career. He played 177 first-class matches, 127 List-A matches, and a solitary ODI for Pakistan in 1994/95.

He amassed 9 438 first-class runs, including 22 centuries, with a best of 208 and an excellent average of 41.94. His off-spin bowling was best suited to List-A cricket, where he snaffled 61 wickets at 30.57.

His one international match came against Sri Lanka and was rather unlucky: he was run out for 1, didn’t bowl, and was never selected again. (While we certainly don't want to cast blame for the run out, it is worth mentioning that his batting partner was a certain Inzamam Ul-Haq ...)

Hamid played in the Lancashire League for a couple of seasons, where he encountered players such as Stephen Foster (the world’s #1-ranked Over-50s cricketer) and played in an interesting series for Pakistan Seniors against India Seniors back in 2007. That series was more “celebrity cricket” than today’s serious Over-50s stuff, but India’s side still featured names such as Azharuddin, Hirwani and Prabhakar, while the Pakistan line-up include Abdul Qadir and Ijaz Ahmed, as well as some members of Pakistan’s 2018 O50s World Cup squad in Ghulam Ali and Ghaffar Kazmi.

Like most of the top Over-50s players, Hamid has never stopped playing cricket. He currently plays every week, either at veterans or at club level. He is inspired to keep going by “the passion of cricket, meeting former players every week, and fitness”.

He was aware of the 2018 Over-50s World Cup as the tournament received quite a lot of attention in Pakistan. As a former international, Hamid feels a degree of pressure to perform. He also believes the standard of the World Cup will be high, although he feels this will be “because of well-known international cricketers participating”. He is most looking forward to playing “competitive cricket” with players of a similar age.

Pakistan play a warm-up match before flying out, then have their first competitive match on March 11 against a big potential banana peel in Namibia. Their second match - against India on March 13 - will be much anticipated.

Impact: A relative youngster at just 50, Hamid will be a key player for a Pakistan side missing a couple of its big names from the Sydney World Cup. I’m picking him to be right up there among the top run-scorers for Pakistan, while his offies could also be more than useful.

By Jim Morrison