When there is a will, there is a way. And Shahbaz Khan, a disabled cricketer from Pakistan, has shown it recently. The man who has a deep passion for the game has overcome physical hardships and poverty and will represent his country in the inaugural Disabled World Series in England from August 3. The 11-day tournament is organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board at Worcestershire.
Shahbaz’s journey to the high stage was not easy but for his family and friends who backed him throughout. The man, who earns 800 Pakistan Rupees daily by making the dough in Kasur in Punjab province of Pakistan, had lost four fingers of his right hand in a meat chopper in his early childhood. But that did not stop him from pursuing his goal.
He kept himself in the hunt to make it despite having a serious disability and then proved himself to be a ‘specially-abled’ sportsman. But how did he pursue the right track?
Around seven to eight years ago, Shahbaz had come to hear about cricket for the disabled and that encouraged him. He went to Karachi where the Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association (PDCA) was facilitating the dreams of specially-abled cricket enthusiasts. Shahbaz found his platform there.
“I joined Pakistan disabled cricket, seven to eight years ago. They gave me hope to represent my country and family at a higher level,” Shahbaz was quoted as saying by Pakistan’s ARY Sports in UBL Ground, Karachi, on the sidelines of their practice match against Karachi U-19 team.
Shahbaz bowls fast despite lacking four fingers
What makes Shahbaz even special is that he generates serious pace despite lacking four fingers in his bowling hand. “I don’t face difficulties while holding the ball. In fact, my thumb gives me energy and I bowl with speed and accurate length,” he said.
The man is also ab able hitter. “I like batting and tries to play aggressively. I don’t wear gloves on my right hand but when it comes to cricket I don’t fear,” Shahbaz added.
He made a memorable knock of 121 in just 69 balls that included 13 boundaries and eight fours and thanked the PDCA for giving him the opportunity to represent Pakistan at the World event.
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