Who is Tim David, and why do we need to talk about him?

play
Tim David didn't expect PSL call-up for Lahore Qalandars (2:50)

The Singapore batter details his cricketing journey and his unexpected call-up to the PSL (2:50)

He is quite big, at six-and-a-half feet, and that must help Tim David knock the ball around the park with some ease. He might be from Singapore, not one of the hotspots for cricket around the world, but David has been around, playing in the BBL and in the domestic Australian circuit, and now making a name for himself in the PSL for the Lahore Qalandars. Here's a look at everything that you should know about him.

Why are we talking about him?
When 25-year-old David was picked up by the Qalandars in the mini replacement draft ahead of the resumption of PSL 2021 in place of David Wiese, it must have caught at least some people by surprise. But 23* off 15 balls and 64* off 36 balls in his two innings so far are turning heads. Turn to his numbers, and it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise: 558 runs in 14 T20I innings at an average of 46.50 and strike rate of 158.52, and 1033 runs in 39 T20 innings at 38.25 (average) and 155.33 (strike rate). The Qalandars had clearly done their research.

Is he from Australia or from Singapore?
He was born in Singapore in 1996 - his family had been living there from the 1990s after Tim's father Rod David, an engineer by profession, moved to the country from Australia. Rod went on to play cricket for Singapore in 1997. Tim was two when his family moved back to Perth, and his childhood was spent mainly in Australia. He grew up watching his father playing for the Claremont-Nedlands Cricket Club, and followed in his footsteps.

"He [David] doesn't have a great career but he is young and looked ambitious. We saw his Big Bash videos and made up our mind. Normally we tap our contacts around the world asking about players before picking them, but in Tim's case, we went with our instincts." Sameer Rana, Lahore Qalandars team manager

Tim started playing seriously when he was eight, and at 19, he played in the Northeast Premier League in England, amassing 963 runs at 53.50 to become the leading run-getter for the year (2015). The same year, he played on the Under-19 circuit in Australia for Western Australia, but didn't get much success; it was better when he got to the Under-23s in 2018, as he scored 411 runs in five matches at 45.66, which earned him a ticket to the BBL with the Perth Scorchers.

But his stint was cut short after he picked up a stress fracture in his foot. He returned to playing for Claremont-Nedlands in March 2019, within three months of suffering the injury, and then needed an operation in April 2019 before returning to the field.

When did he return to Singapore?
David was always eligible to play for Singapore, as the country of his birth. And then a combination of factors convinced him to return.

As he explained to ESPNcricinfo, after playing for the Scorchers in 2018 and then having a rookie contract for 2018-19 with Western Australia, David did try to continue playing in Australia. But after Western Australia delisted him in April 2019 and then the Scorchers didn't offer him a contract, David returned to Singapore.

His international career began soon after, with the T20 World Cup qualifiers in 2019.

As such, David had never played cricket in Singapore, having left the country with his family when still a child. The connection with the country had remained, though, as the Davids travelled to Singapore more than once for their holidays.

Any chance of a return to Australia as a cricketer?
This season at the BBL, David scored 279 runs at a strike rate of 153.29 in 14 innings for the Hobart Hurricanes. And that might yet open some doors for him.

"Of course, I have the ambition to play for Australia," David told ESPNcricinfo. "If that opportunity comes up, then I would love to take that. But, at the moment, I am happy playing for Singapore. There are some very important tournaments coming up and it's been an important part of my development so far, and I am looking forward to being a part of it going forward.

"At the moment, most of my opportunities are in Twenty20, and I am enjoying myself and having a great time here - the PSL is my first overseas franchise opportunity, but I am open to everything and if stuff like that comes up, then I would love to have a crack at it."

How did the Lahore Qalandars move happen?
The target was a hard-hitting middle-order batter who was good against spin, and would be available for the Abu Dhabi leg of PSL 2021. The two shortlisted candidates were Jack Wildermuth and David. David's game against spin impressed the Qalandars' team management enough for the deal to be struck.

David actually has a higher strike rate (163.82) against spin than against pace (149.08).

"In franchise cricket, there is a big temptation to pick a bigger name and over the years we learned to resist," Sameer Rana, the Qalandars team manager, told ESPNcricinfo. "We wanted to have a player who can provide a balance in our line-up. It wasn't about just picking up a player and figuring out later how to adjust. We didn't want to gamble and wanted to make sure we get the right player.

"He [David] doesn't have a great career but he is young and looked ambitious. We saw his Big Bash videos and made up our mind. Normally we tap our contacts around the world asking about players before picking them, but in Tim's case, we went with our instincts."