Anwar Ali, from child labourer to stardom
Pakistan all-rounder Anwar Ali, who once ironed socks for a living as a teenage factory labourer, may have finally found his feet in international cricket after years of unfulfilled promise. Ali smashed a 17-ball 46 with four towering sixes and three fours to help Pakistan clinch a last-gasp over win in the second Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in their recently concluded tour, prompting fans to hail him as the second coming of talismanic all-rounder Shahid Afridi. "I am thankful to Almighty who helped me reach this point," Ali, 27, told AFP.
"My life was once very tough as I used to work in a sock-making factory but I clung to the dream of playing for Pakistan." Ali migrated as a child from the small village of Zaka Khel in the militancy-wracked Swat Valley that is also home to Nobel peace prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai. His family was amongst those who left after extremists began a campaign to rule the valley under their harsh interpretation of Sharia law. The family made their base in a rundown industrial area of Karachi, where Ali, who lost his father when he was still young, began working as a child labourer for a meagre 150 rupees ($1.50 in current terms) per day.