Naseem touched upon the facilities provided to local cricketers in England and said that national cricketers don't even get 30% of them back in Pakistan
Pakistan emerging pacer Naseem Shah had the opportunity to feature in 2022 County Cricket for Gloucestershire Cricket Club, but his appearances in four-day matches were cut short due to stiffness in his shoulder.
However, the 19-year-old played club matches and featured for the club in T20 Blast. He returned to Pakistan due to his father's illness and may join Glous soon.
In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Naseem talked about his experience, compared facilities provided to players back home and in England, his future ambitions and much more.
Naseem highlighted he learned a lot of things while playing for the club. "Our legendary cricketers have also played county cricket and have praised the quality of environment and cricket, my experience has also been the same. This is my first experience and I have learned many things, they are very professional in everything they do," Naseem said.
Naseem was sidelined after the first game and was replaced by retired Pakistan pacer, Mohammad Amir. Naseem revealed that he was not injured and only had some stiffness problem; therefore, after consultation with management, he decided to put less load on his shoulder.
"My injury was not so problematic. After the Test against Australia, I had stiffness in my shoulder and I discussed it here with the management and they said we have many games."
"I started to bowl in the same week. They dealt with me professionally and said that if you would play two to three more games, it may get stiffed. They told me to train and recover, I played games in T20 Blast afterwards and will look to play in four-day games as well."
Naseem emphasised that living alone brings discipline to a player's life as he has to do everything independently.
"An individual learns how to live alone as here they have given me a house where I live alone. It has never happened in my life where I had to live alone and care for everything. County cricket brings discipline to your life as you have to wake up early on time, make breakfast, do the house chores, and wash clothes. We don't do these things on our own back home," he added.
"You have to be punctual at the practice, prepare your kit bag. Overall, you learn many things apart from cricket," he maintained.
Naseem further touched upon the facilities provided to local cricketers in England and said that national cricketers in Pakistan don't even get 30% of them back in Pakistan.
"I haven't seen this kind of facilities in my life, as I was playing club matches too, the ground was so good, green outfield, fast pitches. They have all kinds of facilities, and I think that 30% of the facilities are not in Pakistan for national cricketers compared to what a common cricketer gets here. I know how I started my cricket, playing in the mountains and now viewing this kind of facilities. The local players in England are fortunate," he added.
However, Naseem said that most Pakistan players come at the top with no facilities, which makes them better than the English cricketers.
"You get facilities in big cities but in my hometown, there's no cricket ground. I think these facilities can't be provided back home, but if there are few, more cricketers will emerge."
Naseem mostly bowls above 140+ kph but according to him, the pace doesn't matter if a bowler is not bowling in the right areas.
"In my short career, I have learned that If you even bowl at 160 kph, you will get hit if you won't bowl at good areas. I feel if I am bowling at 145 kph and have variations, you are likely to succeed. My aim has been the same is to bring perfection in my line and lengths and not only rely on speed."
Naseem's brother Hunain Shah is also a cricketer. Although, he humorously advised his brothers to do something else as cricket brings lot of attention to one's life
"I have advised them to do something else as this thing is difficult where you have so much attention but it is all about fondness, they must continue to play on their own will and work hard and see how things go in the future," he concluded.