On Tuesday, while the United Arab Emirates took on the Netherlands in the first of the three match ODI series, a very interesting record was set.
Cricket has had its share of twins representing their nations in international or first class cricket. The legendary Waugh brothers of Australia come to mind when one thinks of twins representing the same team in international cricket.
When the two teams took the field at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen, cricket historians and statisticians were scrambling to register a moment which will end up in cricket trivias for a long time to come.
Three Zulfiqars aged 20 each – Asad, Sikander and Saqib featured in the Dutch batting line up as skipper Peter Borren won the toss and elected to bat. One could be forgiven to assume that ‘Zulfiqar’ is a common surname but not in this instance. It was the first time ever in the history of international cricket that three brothers let alone triplets had represented the same team.
**TRIPLE ZULFIQAR KLAXON**— Bertus de Jong (@BdJcricket) July 17, 2017
THAT'S A FULL ZULFIQAR pic.twitter.com/pdkq7F70nV
While Sikander has played for the Netherlands before, this was the international debut for Asad and Saqib. The family’s connection to Dutch cricket goes back to their father Zulfiqar Ahmed, a Pakistan born cricketer who immigrated to the Netherlands at a young age. He went on to represent his newly adopted country internationally before ingraining the love of the game into his children.
There could soon be a fourth Zulfiqar too as the eldest brother Rehmat has been selected for the Netherlands ‘A’ squad. Now that would be some sight, a team laden with Zulfiqars representing their nation in the international arena.
While Asad and Saqib made 15 and 11 respectively on their debuts, the more experienced Sikander scored and unbeaten 41 to take his side to a total of 182 which was chased down by the UAE with an over to spare.
UAE might have won the match but it was the Zulfiqar triplets who captured the imagination of cricket lovers all over the world. Here is hoping for a World Cup qualification for the Dutch in the near future so that the entire world can marvel at this rare feat.