Naseem Shah made his T20I debut in Pakistan’s opening match of the 2022 Asia Cup against India on Sunday at the Dubai International Stadium. Shah took Indian opener KL Rahul’s wicket on his second delivery, dismissing the stylish opener for a duck. He was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, as the men in green fought hard to defend their relatively modest total. Shah finished with figures of 2/27 on his debut- a truly memorable one, even if it eventually ended in defeat.

The right-arm fast bowler, ahead of the blockbuster clash, said,”I made my ODI debut recently and performed. Making a debut in any format is important for your career. Today is a big match, but I will try to play as a normal match.”

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Who is Naseem Shah?

Naseem Shah was born on February 15, 2003 in Lower Dir which is a district of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He came to the fore when he was called up to the Pakistan international squad for Pakistan’s tour of Australia at the age of 16. He became the 9th youngest cricketer in history to make their test debut when he was selected to play in the Brisbane test match from November 21-24, 2019. Pakistan was disposed of by an innings and 5 runs in that game, and Shah took his maiden international and test wicket, ending with figures of 1/68.

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On November 19, 2019, he took his first 5-wicket haul in test cricket in the 2nd of the two-match series against Sri Lanka. Doing so at the tender age of 16 years and 307 days made him just the 2nd youngest bowler in test history, and the youngest ever fast bowler to achieve this feat. The youngster broke another record on February 7, 2020 in a test match against Bangladesh when he became the youngest bowler to take a test hattrick. 

He has since played 13 test matches for Pakistan and has 33 wickets to his name at an average of 36.30. His best bowling figures are the 5/31 against Sri Lanka

Shah was recently called up for his first ODI series when he was named to the Pakistan One Day International (ODI) squad for Pakistan’s tour of the Netherlands. He has made an instant impact already. In his ODI debut on August 16, 2022 at Rotterdam, Shah helped Pakistan to a close 16 run win by taking 3 wickets on debut.

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In the 3rd ODI held on August 27, he captured his first ODI 5-wicket haul- a crucial bowling performance that helped Pakistan defend a modest 206 first innings score by 9 runs. After his first ODI series, his ODI starts are already looking very impressive, albeit having only played the Netherlands so far. In his 3 matches, he already has 10 wickets to his name at a phenomenal bowling average of 11.10

Shah made his T20I debut in Pakistan’s 2022 Asia Cup opener against arch-rivals India. After Pakistan had been restricted to a score of 147 in their innings, Shah was given the ball to spearhead the attack. His first over in T20I cricket was a memorable one, as he dispatched KL Rahul for a duck in just his second ball, and made Indian ace batsman Virat Kohli very uncomfortable, forcing him to edge a beautifully angling away delivery to a slip that wasn’t there. He kept it tight throughout the game, even while fighting cramps towards the end, and finished with figures of 2/27 on debut, although he couldn’t prevent an Indian victory.

Domestically, Shah plays for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), and represents Central Punjab in first class cricket.