The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has become a platform for many aspiring and young cricketers to fast track their cricket journey. Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali and Haris Rauf are just some players who have become superstars and made it to the national team after performing in PSL.
This year, the player who caught everyone’s attention is 22-year old fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani – a young man from Larkana who has impressed everyone with his bowling skills and celebration style. Dahani was picked by Multan Sultans as an emerging player in the PSL6 draft and made his debut for Sultans during a game against Peshawar Zalmi. Since then, he has played three games and has taken two wickets in each of them.
In an interview with Geo Super, the young cricketer opened up on his struggle, journey and future targets.
Dahani is from a small village named Khuhawar Khan Dahani. Growing up, he used to play tape-ball cricket, barefooted, on an open and uneven field in his village.
“I was passionate about bowling fast and was known in my village for my fast bowling, that’s why many there had named me 3G bowler – to relate the speed with the speed of the internet,” shared Dahani, adding that he knew nothing about professional cricket back then.
Dahani said that he was invited to the U19 trials after some guests in his village witnessed him bowling with a tape ball.
Recalling the moment, Dahani said when he was invited for the trials, he didn’t have any proper gear or shoes so he borrowed them from a friend and showed up to the trials. There he got selected to play inter-district U19 matches.
Dahani, who has a B.Com Degree, said that his father wanted him to concentrate on his studies but his passion for the game pushed him to pursue it.
“He [my father] is no more with us, but I am sure he would’ve been very proud today seeing me become the face of my village and bringing laurels” said Dahani.
Dahani said when he completed the U19 season, he didn’t know there was a rule called “overage”. He showed up for trials again only to be told that he’s not eligible and needs to compete with seniors now.
“I had no idea what had just happened, but I didn’t give up and made myself realise that if I have to compete, I will have to beat everyone” said the aspiring cricketer.
After playing grade 2 cricket, he made his first-class debut last season and got 27 wickets in 8 games. His performance during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy impressed many which is why he was picked as an emerging player by Multan Sultans.
Talking about his PSL journey and future goals, Dahani said: “I want to be among [the] best bowlers here. I know it’s a tough competition but I am giving my best.”
“Everyone has their eyes on PSL and your performances here are noticed. It paves your way to [the] national team [and] you become a true star only when you’ve Pakistan’s star donned on your chest,” added the cricketer.
“Sharing a dressing room with players like Shahid Afridi, Imran Tahir, Carlos Brathwaite is confidence-boosting for me. To be with them, celebrate with them and share a dressing room is increasing my courage as a cricketer,” he said.
Recalling his humble beginnings the fast bowler shared that he was so passionate about cricket that he never missed any game on TV.
“There was no facility, proper cable or anything so we made makeshift arrangements with friends to watch cricket matches. I had memorised stats and [the] action of all the bowlers then,” he said, adding that he aims to emulate bowlers like Shane Bond and Jofra Archer who are his role models.