Who is Muhammad Waseem, the Pakistan-born UAE opener who equalled Yuvraj Singh's feat in T20 cricket

UAE batter Muhammad Waseem has been making the waves in the associate world and now has the opportunity to announce himself on the world stage. 
 
Muhammad Waseem

Muhammad Waseem played a stand-out knock in the T20 World Cup warm-up fixture against West Indies and is entering the event in solid form. 

UAE's spirited run-chase against the West Indies in the T20 World Cup 2022 warm-up fixture on Monday (October 10) brought home an encouraging batting talent in the form of Muhammad Waseem. The opening batter played a stand-out knock of 69 not out off 52 deliveries for UAE in an innings where the next highest score was 29.

The associate rivals fell only 17 runs short of pulling off a famous victory against a Test-playing nation. But the innings was enough for Waseem to gain the spotlight, with the 28-year-old right-hander reiterating his batting abilities and promise on the world stage, facing a more-fancied opposition. 

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Who is Muhammad Waseem?

Born on February 12 of 1994 in Mian Channu, a district in the Punjab region of Pakistan, Muhammad Waseem qualified to play for UAE back in 2021 after completing ICC's three-year resident criteria. 

The year 2021 witnessed a couple of major breakthroughs at the domestic level for the talented cricketer, who recorded the fastest half-century ever in T10 cricket. He blasted his way to a 12-ball 50 in the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament for the Northern Warriors against the Pune Devils.

An innings that showcased Muhammad Waseem's big-hitting prowess, he equalled Indian limited-overs great Yuvraj Singh in the list of fastest half-century recorded in all cricket. Singh's 12-ball 50 is part of legends as he dispatched England's Stuart Broad for six consecutive sixes in an over at Durban on his way to a memorable fifty in the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa. 

After dominating the T10 scene, Waseem got roped in as a replacement player in the Multan Sultans' camp for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in May 2021. That was the biggest nod of approval to the player's talent and promise and ultimately led to a UAE call-up for him in October for the Summer T20 Bash competition. 

Making his debut against Namibia, it took only five more days for Waseem to make his mark even at the international stage as he smashed his first T20I century, facing Ireland for his brilliant 107 not out off just 62 deliveries. That was a knock that cemented Waseem's spot in UAE's limited-overs side. 

Since then, Muhammad Waseem has played 18 ODIs and 17 T20Is for his adopted country. The shortest format has seen the best of the right-hand batter, who has scored his 650 runs with a strike-rate of 152.58 while averaging 40.62. 

In matches involving Waseem, no one else has recorded a better strike-rate and average for UAE, which reinforces his status as his team's best batter heading into the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. 

That UAE qualified for the marquee event Down Under had much to do with Muhammad Waseem, who blasted 241 runs from his five innings at the T20 World Cup 2022 qualifiers A in the Middle East, averaging 48.20 while carrying a strike-rate of 149.68. The batter's tally featured three scores of fifty or more, including another superlative ton versus the Irishmen.