Over a decade after debuting for the UAE while still a schoolboy, Rameez Shahzad is ready for a belated second chance at international cricket.

The big-hitting batsman made his first-class bow for the national team against Ireland in 2005, in a match in which Eoin Morgan scored 150 for the opposition.



Both players subsequently tried their luck in English county cricket. Morgan went on to switch allegiances to England, win a World Twenty20, play Indian Premier League cricket, and become one of the most recognisable players in the game.

Rameez, by stark contrast, has rarely been spotted since. The time he spent studying in the UK while attempting to make it at Durham in the county game cost him eight years of his international career.

His pursuit of a professional contract in England was only realistically possible if he attempted to qualify as a resident.

Having been born in Pakistan – albeit he had moved to UAE, where father Shahzad Altaf was a renowned national team player, within months – he had to restart the four-year qualifying process upon returning to the Emirates.