Mohammad Zahid fast bowler form Pakistan who made his debut a year earlier than Shoaib Akhtar and made headlines with his raw pace was born on August 2, 1976, but due to mishandling by PCB his career went past in a blink of an eye.
Zahid was a fast bowler with all the attributes which was needed to get successful at test level but only thing which was not on his side was luck. He made his international debut for Pakistan against a touring New Zealand in 1996 and immediately made his mark by picking up 11 wickets in the match which includes a match winning and series leveling spell of 7/66 in second innings when New Zealand batsman was not able cope with his pace and swing. 9 of his 11 victims in his first test was either bowled or LBW which shows his accuracy and pace with was too hot to handle for KIWI batsman on a docile pitch at Rawalpindi cricket stadium, Karachi. In Pakistan’s 66 years cricket history he is the only bowler to have taken 10 wickets in a test match on test debut.
In between Mohammad Zahid made his ODI debut as well and impressed all by bowling with great speed and generating extra ordinary bounce from good length on fast Australian tracks during Pakistan triumphant Carlton and United Series 1996/97. No body will forget the he lit up the crowd in that series. A tearaway fast bowler from long run up a treat to watch. In one of the matches against “Brian Lara” he was unplayable and after beating Brian Lara with his pace several time he snaffled the wicket master batsman. After the match Brian Lara was all praising for this Pakistani youngster.
First Injury Scare
Zahid first hit by injury after bowling long spells in hot weather of Sri Lanka in 1997 where he played 2 test matches and wasn’t able to field in last innings of the series by stiff back and that’s where his fortune turns into a horrible dream.
County Debut Which Never Happen
Just when Zahid was ready to fly his wings was cut down by almost a career ending back injury. Nottinghamshire signs Pakistan pacer Zahid for a lucrative contract of GBP 60,000 but it was ended even before making his county debut in 1997 due to stress fracture in his back.
Failed Comeback Attempt
Zahid made a brief comeback when he played in Sahara “Friendship Cup” 1998 and played in all 5 matches without much success before hit by an injury once again and went in wilderness for long due to non cooperation by PCB. In 2003 Zahid final attempt to regain his place at international level but after several injuries he was unable to make his mark as he has lost his pace considerably.
A great talent which was wasted by Pakistan as there was plenty of other options available in fast bowling department. Emergence of Shoaib Akhtar at international also played its part as PCB management was more interested in new crop of fast bowlers available to them rather than investing in an injury prone fast bowler like “Mohammad Zahid”.
Once during an interview Shoaib Akhtar the fastest bowler of all time also state that he thinks Zahid was a yard faster than him. Zahid just able to represent Pakistan in handful of matches but memories of his pace and bounce from his debut test still fresh in many of his fans after two decades.
Since hanging his boots from first class cricket in 2009 Zahid played club cricket for Liverpool in England to satisfy his inner passion for cricket. Besides playing he also works as a coach after doing professional qualification in cricket coaching from England as he now lives there permanently.
Appointed as Bowling Coach at High Performance Centre (HPC)
Mohammad Zahid has its second coming in Pakistan Cricket when he was appointed as bowling coach in PCB’s High Performance Centre (HPC) in Lahore in September 2020. His appointment came as a surprise as Zahid was away from Pakistan cricket since he last played first class match in Pakistan in 2009-10 season. Just after spending 05 months at the position Zahid tendered his resignation to PCB on 24th Feb, 2021.