By Syed Parwaiz Imam

RIYADH, Feb. 25 – With two fine centuries in the last two consecutive Fridays, Nadeem Baber, a first class cricketer, has set a new record of scoring one hundred and six centuries in the 507 club matches played so far here and back home. For this fete, he was honored by the city cricket body for this achievement in an impressive function.
An all rounder player of the Riyadh Cricket League (RCL) and born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1971, he is a right handed opening batsman and medium fast bowler. Launched his cricket career from a popular Korangi Friends club in Karachi and then later on represented Comprehensive School in the Inter school and the National college in the Inter Collegiate tournaments. As a result of his outstanding performance was chosen in the team of Pakistan Board and the Pakistan Universities.
The ever-agile Babar was also selected in Karachi White Under-19 for the BCCP Under-19 event. His marvelous play here put him in the Juniors Under-19 camp at the national level which was organized by the BCCP in 1991. He played national one day Wills Cup for KCCA White held under the patronage of PCB and the Pakistan Resolution Silver Jubilee celebration meet. In 1991, he competed in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy representing once again KCCA White, in Patrons trophy and BCCP Under-19 gala with Pakistan Steel Mills.
He joined the cricket league here back in 1992 and being in form, he scored his first century, hitting 115 runs not out in his very first match played for the Poineer club and claimed five wickets for 27 runs as well. This made him very popular overnight in the Kingdom. He also set a record by scoring one thousand runs in his very first season. To his credit also is a whirlwind century in Sharjah Ramadan night festival event against the strong Peshawar club. Representing the best select side from Saudi Arabia amongst the various leagues, he proved himself best all rounder in Sharjah, UAE.
In the Intercity matches, he skippered Riyadh side against the leagues in Jeddah, Dammam, Yanbu and also led a Sharjah bound squad. He earned the honor of scoring his hundredth century here while playing for Saudia Milk in a match against the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). In addition, he has to his credit five double tons. The highest individual score being in a 40-overs tourney, 248 not out. With the ball, he has captured 389 wickets and the best figures being eight wickets for 35 runs in one-day matches. But recently, this total was also surpassed as he took his 400th wicket against Mehran in the ongoing RCL BSF meet. In the past, RCL presented him with Pride of Performance awards three times based on his excellent all round show.
With Tasleem Arif, a Pakistan international, trained the Under-19 cricketers. During his stay in England, Baber coached schoolboys as well. He played as a professional for four years with Pakistan Steel Mills and two years for the KESC. He flew back in 1997 to play in the Wills Cup and the Patron trophy for the Pakistan Customs, which were televised by the PTV. Additionally, has played league cricket in England and here his stylish play and action won him praise from Asif Mujtaba, a former Pakistan cricket team captain.
Currently, he is captaining the Friends club, which is taking part in the Al Bank Al Saudi Al Fransi tournament under the supervision of RCL. Asked on to comments on his future plans, Barber who is working at Pamas establishment, said," I am looking with eagerness to play more league cricket in Pakistan, England, Australia and Bangladesh." For more information, he can be contacted on phone cum fax 01-4931907 or mobile 05445837.