Sat August 11, 2012 1:53am
Young bowler Usman Qadir doesn't have to look far for a hero.
MOST of what he knows about cricket Usman Qadir absorbed from his famous father. He picked his brain and copied his extravagant action, but also knew what a giant step it would take to actually be like him.
Of the 240 players from 16 countries who will compete in the under-19 World Cup in Queensland, from today, none is more aware than the son of the great Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir of the huge gap between this gathering of the best young cricketers in the world and the real world of international cricket. When your father is a magician, it's impossible to think you have made it.
''He is my hero, too. I am trying to copy him, but I can't do it because he is a legend. But still I try my level best,'' said Qadir, a budding leg-spinner in his father's image who has spent many hours glued to videos of his bowling.
''The other guys, when they are starting cricket, they watch my father, Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, all the leg-spinner legends in the world, watching videos, but my idol is my father. He spend a lot of time with me, teaching more deliveries.''
It was, he said, ''a very awesome thing'' to play against Australia in the final of the previous youth World Cup in 2009-10, even if he felt like crying when the Australians lifted the trophy at the end of it.
Of the 11 Australians who played in that final, two (Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Marsh, another with strong cricket bloodlines) have graduated to limited-overs internationals and all but two have reached first-class level. Of those who will defend the title over the next three weeks, two (South Australia's Travis Head and New South Wales batsman Kurtis Patterson) have already made an impression on the Sheffield Shield scene. In a sign of the different paths open to this generation, a handful, including all-rounder Meyrick Buchanan and fast bowler Gurinder Sandhu have Big Bash contracts.