No matter what happens when Pakistan faces England in Sunday’s final at the MCG, Shadab Khan had Twenty20 Globalism Cup to remember.
The 24-year-old has starred in both bat and ball, and helped revitalize Pakistan’s faltering campaign when all seemed lost.
After losing the last ball to India and Zimbabwe, Shadab pulled them off the brink by three wickets against the Netherlands for their first win.
He then appeared with 22 fireballs 52 and bowling numbers from 2 to 16 during his performance as Man of the Match against South Africa.
Proteas’ shock defeat to the Netherlands helped Pakistan reach the semi-finals.
Shadab was shortlisted for the tournament’s best player and could win it if Pakistan did the job against England in the decisive match in Melbourne. cricket a land.
When colleagues and coaches talk about Shadab, they are all referring to one thing.
“He brings invaluable energy to the team,” said Captain Babar Azam.
Shaddad’s commitment and relentless energy, be it in training or matches, catalyzed a deteriorating World Cup for Pakistan.
– Fire and instinct –
Like many Pakistani cricketers, Shadab’s beginnings were humble.
He grew up playing cricket in the rugged courts of Mianwali District, a farming community near the banks of the Indus River in Punjab province.
It happens to be the home of the former prime minister and cricket legend Omran Khan and former captain Misbah al-Haq.
People who know him well have said that Shaddad has always been unrelenting in his dedication.
“Shaddad’s commitment to cricket is unparalleled,” said club coach Sajjad Ahmed.
He would sleep around 9:00 pm and reach the ground before sunrise.
“This has been his routine for years so he can practice as much as possible.”
It was Ahmed who suggested that Shadab should become a multi-level player and not focus only on hitting.
After graduating from cricket to district level and to Pakistan A, Shadab appeared in the 2016 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Bangladesh and was named the best player in his team with 11 players.
The following year, Islamabad United, the franchises of the Pakistan Premier League, selected him as a emerging player.
“We were picking players in the 2017 PSL Draft and every other team was passing by, so I asked Mosbah about it,” recalls Hassan Cheema, United’s director of strategy.
Misbah said Shadib has that fire and instinct he hasn’t seen in any player in years.
“After six years you can see his competitive fire and the life he brings on the team is priceless,” Cheema told AFP.
– Who is born to a man –
But talking only about his energy and commitment risks underestimating Shaddad’s talent.
As differences in legs are Shadab’s origins, he has managed to extract the bounce from the tough Australian courts at the World Cup.
When he hits and wields his style of play, his style is aggressive – his treble ability gives flexibility in team selection for Pakistan.
It was Mickey Arthur, the coach of the Pakistan national team at the time, who led him into the ranks of the team in 2017.
“When we brought Shadab into the team, he was very exciting as a cricketer,” Arthur told AFP from Britain.
“He was an athlete and he was a three-in-one cricketer.”
Since then, Shadab has added maturity and confidence to his arsenal.
“He’s the match winner for Pakistan. The difference I saw was that it came from boy to man,” Arthur said.
– full swing –
Shadab had his dream international debut when he was named Man of the Match in Pakistan’s T20 win over the West Indies at Bridgetown in 2017.
That same year, one of Shadab’s best moments in the Champions Cup came in a showdown against arch-rivals India, where he cornered Yuvraj Singh in front of a wicket.
English referee Richard Kettleborough was unimpressed, but Shadab persuaded Captain Sarfraz Ahmed to review – and he was proven correct, making Shadab the Pakistan victory champion.
“She was very close to the bat, but Shadab was sure she would hit the bat first,” Sarfraz told AFP.
“It’s his confidence in the ground that helps and motivates the team and that’s why he’s improving so fast.”