Mudassir Gujjar, a 21-year-old cricketer from Pakistan, is aiming at becoming the tallest bowler to play international cricket. Gujjar, who hails from Lahore, is a giant tall man measuring 7 ft and 6 ins.
Interestingly, he was part of the player development program with Pakistan Super League side Lahore Qalandars last year and the youngster hopes to overtake his countryman Mohammad Irfan (7.1 ft) as the tallest bowler to play international cricket.
The tallest bowler presently in the world is Irfan, but unlike the left-arm pacer, Gujjar is a spinner.
Not only that but Gujjar also aims to play in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL).
“As I have always wanted, I need to achieve my first goal of playing in the Pakistan team for that would make me the tallest cricket player in the world,” Gujjar told Gulf News.
“I started training seven months ago to become a bowler. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a pause. My height is a blessing. I can run faster and be the fastest bowler.
“And if I get an offer from the IPL, then I have no issues playing alongside all those big and famous names like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Jos Buttler or Glenn Maxwell,” he added.
IPL, as of now, don’t entertain players from across the border since the first edition but even this factor doesn’t concern the 23-year-old.
“The PSL doesn’t take players from India and the IPL doesn’t accept players from Pakistan. But who knows, I may be the first one to play in the Indian league,” Gujjar said.
Interestingly, Mudassir Gujjar was born to parents of average height as his father Hashim Mohammad is 5ft 6ins and mother Parveen is 5ft 3ins. By the time he left primary school, he was already six feet tall, which concerned his parents and siblings but was confirmed by doctors that he has hormonal issues and confirmed he would be above 7 feet tall. By the time he reached high school, he was above 7 feet.
“I was the tallest child in the school and in the neighbourhood,’ he said. ‘I was already six-foot-tall when I was ten and by the time I was in high school, I was above seven-feet-tall.
‘My parents were worried as I kept growing. They were not able to understand why I was growing taller than my siblings and if it will later cause any troubles for me.”
Later the doctors confirmed that he has hormonal issues that were causing a spurt in growth.
“The doctors said I have a hormonal condition but they couldn’t tell if I will grow more than 7 feet tall! The last time I checked my height was a year and half ago and I was 7’6 since then. I have not grown [taller] since.”
Notably, the tall height also proved to be a problem for the Lahore youngster, with custom-made shoes and clothes being prepared specifically for him as ready-made products were not available in his size. His shoe size is 23.5 in the UK and his trouser length is 54 centimetres.
Moreover, his tall height does not allow him to even drive a car but over the years, the 21-year-old has not only come to terms with it, but even embraced the fact that he stands at over 7 and a half feet.
“People now meet me with a smile, they are in awe of me. It makes me feel good. I feel special. I may have trouble doing things like a normal person but my height is God’s gift and I am thankful to him. I am popular and I enjoy the attention.”
Other tall men in cricket: Mohammad Irfan – Pakistan (7.1 ft); Boyd Rankin – Northern Ireland/England (6.7 ft); Billy Stanlake – Australia (6.7 ft); Bruce Reid – Australia (6.66 ft); Joel Garner – West Indies (6.66 ft); Peter George – Australia (6.66 ft); Curtly Ambrose – West Indies (6.6 ft); Jason Holder – West Indies (6.6 ft); Suleiman Benn – West Indies (6.6 ft); Tom Moody – Australia (6.52 ft).