Naseem Shah: From tragedy to success
Born on February 15, 2003, Naseem Shah played in his debut first-class match for Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited in the 2018–19 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy on 1 September 2018. Soon after, he was named as the six players to watch out for ahead of the 2019–20 National T20 Cup tournament by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Shah did not make any mistakes in his domestic career and made his international debut for Pakistan in November 2019, becoming the ninth-youngest player to do so in Test cricket history.
The very next month, Shah wrote his names in the history books once again by taking his first five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka. Aged only 16 years and 307 days, he became the youngest fast bowler in history to take a five-wicket haul in a Test match.
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The youngster’s efforts not only helped Pakistan seal the match, but he became an overnight sensation in his country. During the press conference, Shah dedicated his performance and Pakistan’s victory to his late mother who had passed away a few weeks earlier while he was preparing to make his debut against Australia.
He was moved to tears and had to be taken away by the team’s media manager while he shielded his face, showing how the real-life tragedy was much bigger than the momentary success.
Hailing from Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Shah’s father was not in favour of seeing his son pursue a career in a sport that the entire nation loves playing but only a few get rewarded for. However, after a lot of training and pleading, Shah succeeded at convincing his father to let his follow his dreams.
Last evening, Shah stole the hearts of Pakistanis once again by laying down the wickets of Bangladeshi batsmen during the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Najmul Hossain was on 38 off 87 balls when he became Shah’s first victim during the hat-trick after he was trapped leg before wicket (LBW). While the umpire was not convinced by the appeal, a timely review helped the youngster bag his second wicket of the day.
Taijul Islam was up next as he too was caught in front of his stumps with no reviews required this time around. Mahmudullah was the last victim during Shah’s hat-trick as he played a swinging delivery away from his body which was pouched by Haris Sohail in the slip cordon.
The entire crowd erupted as Shah become the youngest pacer to take a Test hat-trick, that too on home soil. His celebrations were uncontrollable and took a toll on him as he had to leave the field soon after feeling some pain in his left shoulder and chest.
While debuting in a tough sport such as Test cricket at such a young age is an achievement on its own, it seems like Shah is tailor-made for cricket and ready to write his name all over the record books.
Looks like his mother's prayers are paying off even after her departure.
Also see | Pakistan vs Bangladesh 2020: Twitter reacts as 16-year-old Naseem Shah becomes the youngest to take a Test hat-trick
Published 10 Feb 2020, 11:35 IST