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INTERVIEW: Rising Star Shahidullah

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A lot of people did not believe his talent of cricket at the beginning but he proved to one of the best striker and highest scorer in any tournament in the country. At the age of 12 he started cricket and today is one of the best emerging players in Afghanistan. Born in Khost, where people love cricket, Shahidullah is the youngest child of his parents among his six other siblings.  

“A lot of people did not think that I would be able to compete against the very best and boost score but I did that and I am very happy about it”, said Shahidullah.

He is a left-handed batsman and always strives to perform best in any tournament. For him playing along with the national player as no more than an excitement. “I share the dressing room with the players from Kandahar, Jalalabad, Kabul, Kunduz and Khost and have learned a lot from that. I cannot tell you how amazing that was and I still feel proud that I was part of such a tournament. I wanted to take part in the international cricket as well”, said Shahidullah.

Afghanistan Cricket Board organizes Ahmad Shah Abadli 4-Day Tournament, Shpageeza Cricket League and other contest every year to give chance to the new talents. Players participate from five zones of all over Afghanistan. This has provided great opportunity for new flair including Shahidullah to showcase their talent and get a chance to play at national and international level.

Shahidullah believes that the opportunity of interaction with Afghan national players were crucial for increasing his performances and for him the comments of Nawroz Mangal and Noor Ali were important for building his confidence.” In fact, Nawroz Mangal gave me some very specific comments about my playing style, diet and fitness. He told me that hard work is important in any cricketer’s work life but the role of having the right diet is crucial as well.

“Noor Ali, in particular, came up and told me that I was a great prospect and my progress was very important for the future of Afghanistan cricket. Of course, when such experienced players compliment you like that, you cannot help being filled with pride” added Shahidullah.

SHahidullah is eager to start his international cricket and he is paying great attention to his fitness and cricket techniques. “I have obviously played alongside Afghanistan’s top players in domestic competitions but now this is time to have new experience and exposure to International cricket” commented Shahidullah.

His thoughts on the Shpageeza Cricket League:

Shpageeza was a great tournament for all players and the biggest thing ever happened to Afghanistan Cricket is participation of International players from Pakistan and Zimbabwe. It was the highest level tournament played in Afghanistan with our top players playing in this. I do not believe that the standard of performances was any less than the other Leagues and we are all proud to have participated in it. I know that the senior players always make a difference but what really impressed me in this tournament was support from senior players.

As an Afghan it makes me proud to be part of such a tournament where the younger and inexperienced players are doing so well. I am also very proud of my team, Mis-E-Ainak whos performance in overall cricket is impressive.

His final comments:

As long as I maintain my fitness and I am consistent with it, with the Almighty’s help and hard work, I will be able to reach goals. I have a lot to learn but I’m happy with my progress so far.

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