DateLine: 28th April 2009
Farveez Maharoof is a young fast-bowling allrounder of exciting potential, and bowls lively seamers from an upright, open-chested action. Sri Lanka's selectors, impressed by his performances as under-19 captain, fast-tracked him into the national squad for the Zimbabwe tour as they looked towards the future. Faced with a weak opposition, Maharoof picked up a bunch of wickets, but then came up against better competitors during the Asia Cup. He performed reasonably well, and made a mark with his swinging deliveries when South Africa came visiting. He had worked his way up through the representative ranks, playing for Sri Lanka under-15, under-17 and under-19, and led the under-19 team on four tours, including the 2004 Youth World Cup in Bangladesh. He enjoyed a prolific school career for Wesley College, with a highest score of 243 and best bowling figures of 8 for 20. Opportunities in the Test team have been limited but in the one-day side he has started to cement a permanent spot.
A mean display during the ICC Champions Trophy in England, when he exploited the end-of-summer conditions expertly, suggested he could be especially useful when Sri Lanka play in seamer-friendly conditions. His batting has taken longer to click for the senior team but his talent is obvious and a middle-order position for the under-19 team suggests that with time he has the raw ingredients to become one of Sri Lanka's finest allrounders. Most importantly, he has also indicated that he is comfortable under pressure, the traditional Achilles Heel of Sri Lanka's recent fast bowling allrounders. A useful series with bat and ball against Pakistan in early 2006 suggested he was ready to push on, but his bowling failed to impress on the tour of England - in conditions that should have suited him.
Then came an astonishing display at the Champions Trophy in India when his 6 for 14 skittled West Indies for 80. He performed creditably with bat and ball for the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL's first season. A regular in the one-day side, he's yet to cement his place in the Test side.
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