Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah was left surprised at the level of facilities England club cricketers have at their disposal after his maiden English county cricket stint with Gloucestershire, for whom he played in the T20 Blast and in County Championship as well.
In the ongoing T20 Blast, the 19-year-old has played in three matches for Gloucestershire, taking five wickets. Shah has now opened up on his time in England and remarked on the huge difference in day and night in the facilities at the club level in England as compared to Pakistan.
“I think we don’t even have 30 per cent of the facilities that are available to club cricketers here in England. I know where I’ve come from, I started playing cricket with a tape ball, and when I see the cricketers playing here, it’s completely different. Here, when I play a club match and I see the ground and facilities, I think, ‘wow, these guys are so lucky. They have so many facilities’,” Naseem Shah told cricket Pakistan.
From Where I Belong, There Was No Cricket Ground: Naseem Shah On Facilities In Pakistan
Naseem Shah hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lower Dir area, which is a tribal region. He grew up playing tape ball cricket. However, he rose in prominence in U19 cricket after getting proper training with the hard ball.
The Pakistan speedster further added that while cities like Lahore and Karachi have good facilities, other places are in dire need of improvement.
“When we look at our cricket, most players come from places where it’s difficult to avail facilities. In places like Lahore, and Karachi, there are good arrangements. But from where I belong, there was no cricket ground. You couldn’t play cricket with a hard ball. Even if Pakistan can have a small percentage of facilities available in England, you will see many more cricketers coming from our country,” Shah further said.
He made his Test debut against Australia in 2019 and picked a five-wicket haul at the age of 16 years and 307 days, becoming the youngest fast bowler, and the second-youngest among all bowlers to do so. So far he has featured in 11 Tests and picked 26 wickets.