Hailing from a humble background, Anwar Ali once showed up at the National Cricket Academy nets with a pair of worn-out shoes. It was Aaqib Javed who took him under his wing and helped provide proper spikes and other cricket equipment to him. Anwar is a fast bowler out of the typical Pakistani mould, capable of swinging the ball, both old and new, at decent pace. He gave the world a brief glimpse of his talents with a destructive display in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup final against India, in Colombo, when his 5 for 35 spearheaded Pakistan’s 38-run win. His early efforts in first-class cricket also brought some success and not only with the ball as an unbeaten century showed that he is more than able to contribute down the order. He was pushed a closer to a full international opportunity shortly after his 20th birthday (belated compared to some Pakistan players) when he was named in a training squad ahead of the one-day series against Zimbabwe early in 2008. An impressive tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya with the Academy team – he took 29 wickets at 16.31 – earned him a spot in Pakistan’s squad for the four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Canada in October.