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“I let my emotions fall out” – Shoaib Bashir on his inclusion in England squad for India Tests
By SMCS - Dec 13, 2023 9:30 am
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England’s new off-spinner Shoaib Bashir shared letting out his emotions and crying after earning a place in the squad for the high-profile Test series in India. With Jack Leach as the senior spinner in India, the youngster hopes to play in the series. Despite playing only six first-class matches and taking 10 wickets, the team management included him in a squad that also has two other uncapped players. Meanwhile, England men’s cricket’s managing director Robert Key has backed him to become a world-class spinner in the future.

Shoaib Bashir
Shoaib Bashir

Speaking to BBC Radio Somerset’s Charlie Taylor, Bashir said, “I was very numb inside when I got the call then I let my emotions fall out and I cried. It’s so special and I’m very thankful for the opportunity. I love playing cricket – I’ve only played cricket growing up, I didn’t play many other sports. I’m really close with Leachy, we speak about cricket all the time, go for lunch, go for coffees. I haven’t played a game with him yet though so fingers crossed it happens in India.”

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However, England last toured India in 2021, facing a 3-1 defeat as their spinners were relatively inexperienced. With them announcing another inexperienced spin-bowling unit, the five-match Test series could further go against them. Meanwhile, Bashir said that he felt fortunate to be snapped by Somerset as well.

“That was rock bottom of my career. I didn’t think I’d ever play at any sort of high level at that point. When you enjoy playing cricket you put in performances and that’s what I did. Then I got a chance to play a second team game for Somerset at Guildford, where I live. That went well and the next game I took five wickets and Somerset signed me,” he concluded.

The first Test between India and England will take place on January 25, 2024, in Hyderabad.