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India vs West Indies: Shahbaz Nadeem happy to see smile on mother’s face post India call-up

While many would take the opportunity to speak about how justice had finally been served or that it was a call that was much-awaited after years of hard work in domestic cricket, Nadeem decided to speak about how his mother had a big smile on her face when he broke the news to her over phone.

cricket Updated: Oct 29, 2018 11:07 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
india vs west indies,shahbaz nadeem,ipl
Shahbaz Nadeem has been a consistent performer in domestic cricket and in the IPL.(India Today Group/Getty Images)

Having made his first-class debut back in 2004, the journey to the Indian team hasn’t been an easy one for left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. Despite picking bagful of wickets in domestic cricket in the last couple of seasons, the India call somehow eluded him till the national selectors finally decided to hand him his maiden call-up for the three-match T20I series against West Indies on Friday night.

While many would take the opportunity to speak about how justice had finally been served or that it was a call that was much-awaited after years of hard work in domestic cricket, Nadeem decided to speak about how his mother had a big smile on her face when he broke the news to her over phone. Playing for India ‘B’ in the Deodhar Trophy, Nadeem was in the Capital when this reporter informed him of his selection in the squad for the T20I series.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Nadeem revealed how it was sometimes difficult to calm his mother as the India call-up eluded him. But the 29-year-old is quick to add that for every mother, her child is the best and getting them to understand logic can be a more difficult task than dismissing opposition batsmen. Luckily for Nadeem, his father understood the situation and made life easy for him.

“The smile on my mother’s face was my biggest reward when I got the India call-up. While my father has always been very understanding and knows that there is a stiff competition for places in the national team, my mother would sometimes lose her composure and I had to make her understand that there are only 15 or 16 slots available and all the people in the team are proven performers. But you know how mothers are (smiles). My father would sometimes join me to make her understand that a lot of factors need to combine for a person to go ahead and play for the country. To be fair, every child who starts playing the game wishes to represent India. But, only some manage to fulfill their dream,” he said.

Not someone who likes to be overtly expressive, Nadeem believes that the job has only begun and the road ahead will only get more difficult.

“See, I am not the first one to get an India call-up in the last couple of years. The selectors have ensured that every player who has performed at the domestic level has been given his fair opportunity. The real struggle starts now and when handed the chance, I have to perform well and cement my place in the team. There is not a minute to lose and I need to be ready to get onto the field and perform whenever given that opportunity by the captain and team management,” he explained.

A consistent performer for Jharkhand, Nadeem has also been a regular feature in the Indian Premier League for Delhi Daredevils. Asked if he ever felt frustrated at missing the national bus, Nadeem said he never believes in giving up.

“Why should I feel frustrated? If every domestic performer has been given his opportunity, why would the selectors not hand me my chance? I knew that it was about waiting for the opportune moment and performing every time I stepped onto the field. When I started playing for the first time, did I know that I would come so far? I started because I loved playing the game, so even now, the idea is to enjoy myself,” he signed off.

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 11:07 IST