Ahmed Raza

Ahmed Raza

Player Bio

Ahmed Raza, an Emirati cricketer, has become a cornerstone for the United Arab Emirates national cricket team. Born on 10 October 1988 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Ahmed Raza has established himself as a formidable force in the cricketing arena. Standing tall at 6 feet 5 inches, he is not just a commanding presence on the field but also a significant contributor with his slow left-arm orthodox bowling. 

Early Life and Cricketing Beginnings

Ahmed Raza's roots trace back to Pakistan, with both his parents, Shamim and Syed Zahid Kazmi, hailing from there. His father, who migrated to the UAE in 1972, initially worked as an electrical engineer before establishing a plumbing business in Sharjah. Growing up in such a diverse environment, Ahmed was exposed to cricket from a very young age.

Raza's initiation into structured cricket began when he joined Shahzad Altaf's cricket academy at the age of 13. Initially starting as a left-arm fast bowler, he idolized the legendary Pakistani fast bowler, Wasim Akram, and tried to emulate his style. However, as he matured, he transitioned into a left-arm spinner, a decision that would shape his cricketing career.

Despite his evident talent, Ahmed faced early setbacks. He missed out on making it to the national under-15 squad. However, undeterred by this, he continued to hone his skills and, in 2004, represented the UAE at the Under-17 Asia Cup held in India. This was just the beginning of what would become a remarkable journey in the world of cricket.

His formal entry into the international cricketing scene came when he made his List-A debut against India A in 2006. This was followed by his first-class debut in the 2006 ICC Intercontinental Cup. These initial matches provided Ahmed with the platform to showcase his talent and set the stage for his future contributions to the UAE cricket team.

Ahmed Raza's journey, from the streets of Sharjah to representing the UAE on international platforms, is a story of perseverance, dedication, and an undying love for the sport. As he continues to make strides in his cricketing career, he remains an inspiration for many budding cricketers in the UAE and beyond.

Rise in Domestic Cricket

Ahmed Raza's ascent in domestic cricket has been both steady and impactful. Born in the cricket-loving city of Sharjah, his early exposure to the sport was inevitable. His domestic journey began with his List A debut in 2006 against India, a significant milestone that marked the beginning of his professional cricket career. This debut was not just a personal achievement for Ahmed but also a moment of pride for the UAE cricket community, as they witnessed one of their own taking significant strides in the sport.

His domestic performances soon caught the attention of many, and he became a regular feature in the UAE's cricketing setup. Over the years, he represented various teams, including the Emirates Cricket Board XI, Edmonton Royals, Sindhis, Pune Devils, and Morrisville Samp Army. Each of these stints provided him with invaluable experiences and opportunities to refine his skills further.

Ahmed's bowling, characterized by his slow left-arm orthodox style, became a crucial asset for his teams. His ability to bowl tight spells and pick up crucial wickets made him a go-to bowler in pressure situations. Moreover, his batting contributions, though often overshadowed by his bowling, added depth to the teams he represented.

International Cricket Achievements

Ahmed Raza's domestic success paved the way for his entry into the international arena. He made his ODI debut for the UAE in February 2014 against Scotland. This was followed by his T20I debut in March 2014 during the World T20 against Ireland. These debuts marked the beginning of a journey that would see Ahmed become one of the mainstays of the UAE national team.

His international career is filled with notable performances. In the 2009 ACC Twenty20 Cup, Ahmed emerged as the UAE's joint highest wicket-taker alongside Moiz Shahid, picking up 12 wickets in the tournament. Such performances highlighted his ability to deliver on the big stage and underlined his importance to the team.

Over the years, Ahmed Raza has been a consistent performer for the UAE, both with the ball and the bat. His leadership qualities also came to the fore, and he was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the team. His captaincy saw the UAE cricket team achieve several milestones, further cementing his legacy as one of the pillars of UAE cricket.

Captaincy and Leadership

Ahmed Raza's journey in international cricket is not just about his individual performances but also about his leadership qualities that have come to the fore over the years. Entrusted with the captaincy of the UAE national team, Ahmed took on the responsibility with grace and determination, aiming to elevate the team to new heights.

Under his leadership, the UAE cricket team underwent a transformation. Ahmed's captaincy style was a blend of leading from the front and empowering his teammates. He believed in the potential of each player and worked towards creating an environment where every team member could thrive and express themselves freely on the field.

His tenure as captain saw the UAE achieve several significant milestones. Whether it was guiding the team to crucial victories or strategizing for challenging matches, Ahmed's leadership was instrumental in shaping the team's successes. His ability to remain calm under pressure and make sound decisions in crunch situations set him apart as a leader.

Moreover, Ahmed's captaincy was not just about on-field tactics but also about building a cohesive unit. He emphasized the importance of team spirit, unity, and mutual respect. By fostering a culture of trust and camaraderie, he ensured that the team remained united, even in the face of adversity.

Notable Performances and Highlights

Throughout his cricketing career, Ahmed Raza has delivered numerous memorable performances that have etched his name in the annals of UAE cricket. One of the standout moments in his career was during the 2009 ACC Twenty20 Cup. Ahmed emerged as the UAE's joint highest wicket-taker, picking up 12 wickets in the tournament. This performance not only showcased his bowling prowess but also highlighted his ability to rise to the occasion.

Another significant highlight was his performance in the World T20 in 2014. Making his T20I debut in this prestigious tournament, Ahmed showcased his skills on a global platform, further establishing his reputation as a key player for the UAE.

Beyond these individual performances, Ahmed's contributions as a leader and captain are noteworthy. His guidance, strategies, and on-field decisions played a pivotal role in many of the UAE's victories. Whether it was defending a low total, chasing down challenging targets, or making crucial bowling changes, Ahmed's acumen was evident in every move.

His dedication to the sport and commitment to the team have also led to several accolades and recognitions. Whether it's leading the team to victory in crucial matches or achieving personal milestones, Ahmed Raza's journey is filled with moments that will be cherished by fans and cricket enthusiasts for years to come.

Ahmed Raza's journey in the world of cricket is a shining example of dedication, perseverance, and passion. From his early days in Sharjah to leading the UAE national team, his story is one of unwavering commitment to the sport and his country. His leadership qualities, combined with his on-field performances, have made him one of the most revered figures in UAE cricket.

His legacy is not just about the records he set or the matches he won; it's about the impact he has had on the game in the UAE. Ahmed has been instrumental in inspiring a new generation of cricketers in the country, showing them that with hard work and determination, they too can achieve greatness on the international stage.

As Ahmed Raza continues to contribute to UAE cricket, both as a player and a mentor, his legacy will undoubtedly grow. He remains a beacon of hope and inspiration for many budding cricketers in the UAE and beyond, symbolizing what can be achieved with talent, hard work, and a love for the game.

When did Ahmed Raza make his international debut for the UAE?
Ahmed Raza made his ODI debut for the UAE in February 2014 against Scotland.
What is one of Ahmed Raza's most notable bowling performances?
In the 2009 ACC Twenty20 Cup, Ahmed emerged as the UAE's joint highest wicket-taker, picking up 12 wickets in the tournament.
Has Ahmed Raza captained the UAE national team?
Yes, Ahmed Raza has served as the captain of the UAE national cricket team, leading them in various international tournaments.
Which teams has Ahmed Raza represented in domestic cricket?
Ahmed Raza has represented teams like the Emirates Cricket Board XI, Edmonton Royals, Sindhis, Pune Devils, and Morrisville Samp Army.
Where was Ahmed Raza born?
Ahmed Raza was born on 10 October 1988 in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.