Rameez Shahzad, the UAE batsman, has sent a reminder to the national team's selectors in the form of an extended run of high scores while playing as an overseas professional in England. The 21-year-old strokemaker had established himself in the national team last year, having long been regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the country. However, the UAE's plans were dealt a blow when the Lahore-born player departed to the UK, where he is dovetailing studying at the University of Newcastle with playing North East Premier Division cricket.
A bid to recall him for the World Cup Qualifier in South Africa in March this year was scuppered due to his university commitments. Yet the selectors will be cheered by the form he has shown in England as they plan a season which culminates in another World Cup Qualifier, the Twenty20 event to be played on home soil in February. He made his maiden league century for his club Sunderland at the weekend, in their Tyne-Wear derby match against Newcastle, having previously made three half-centuries.
Rameez also batted against the England bowlers Liam Plunkett and Graham Onions while training at the academy of the champion county side, Durham, at the start of the season.