Shahbaz Ahmed, a civil engineer turned cricketer, tells his story from Mewat to Kolkata.
Partha Pratim Chowdhury, the Kolkata club coach, has seen hundreds of cricketers with dreamy eyes; go to the Maidans, but Shahbaz Ahmed was the first young guy with engineering; books accompanying his cricket gear. Even for the middle-aged Chowdhury, who is affiliated with Kolkata’s top division team Tapan Memorial; it was a bit of a novelty. The player from Mewat, then 21 and studying a civil engineering degree at a private; university, is now a battle-hardened domestic bulwark displaying his wares on the big stage.
Shahbaz, a key member of the Bengal Ranji Trophy team, is also a key member of Royal Challengers; Bangalore, where he has proved his power as a batter with two game-changing knocks; in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season, against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).
“Yes, this is my third season, and I’ve spent a lot of time playing in this position; so now it’s time to deliver,” Shahbaz remarked after the game on Tuesday night.
“Today’s circumstance was more difficult since, at one point, the momentum was in favor of RR; and because of DK bhai’s (Dinesh Karthik’s) ability to alter the momentum in our favor; I felt comfortable playing with him. And if we keep the same momentum, we might be able to win the game; (in our favor) “added the 27-year-old.
Days of suffering preceded his success tale as he labored on the hard; club grounds with only a few bald patches of grass for company.
Kolkata’s club cricket has long been one of the strongest in the country; but Tapan Memorial was never considered among the city’s cricketing elite when it came to dominance.
“Not at all like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, or Kalighat; who can bear colossal bucks, we are an awfully small club.” We as often as possible inquire; our more seasoned players to keep an eye out for outstation young people searching for work. “Shahbaz was brought to by one of our boys, Pramod Chandila (a previous Bengal and current Haryana player).”
I accept he was in his third year of engineering at the time. When he had semesters, he would miss a couple of recreations,” Chowdhury said of Shahbaz’s time with him. “He’s a cricketer with a parcel of brains.” His favorite subject is geometry. Possibly it’s since of this that you just have the accuracy and understanding of recognizing the correct crevice and points. “He was continuously prepared to conversation around cricket and douse up as much as he might,” said coach Chowdhury.
Even after rubbing elbows with superstars like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers; during his third season in the IPL, Chowdhury hasn’t noticed any changes in him.
“You know, I had no idea that when one of our club’s groundsmen (maalis; as they’re known in the club circuit) Niranjan died, Shahbaz didn’t tell anyone and gave money directly to his family.”
“I was astonished when he bought a car and parked it in front of my house recently. I advised him to return it to Mewat; and give it to his parents because he was usually on the road. He said, “Partha da, you should drive to the workplace,” and the coach became teary-eyed.
“His parents deserve all of the credit. He is a very well-behaved young man. His grandmother was a headmaster, and his sister is a medical student. He has a well-balanced outlook on life.”