"I'm ready for the challenge of international cricket" : Usman Khan Shinwari

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19-year-old fast bowler Usman Khan Shinwari recently hit the headlines after a breathtaking display of swing bowling in the final of the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for Departments, in which he picked up 5 wickets for just 9 runs to help ZTBL lift the trophy.

Having made his domestic debut this season, the left-armer has participated in three first class matches, three List A matches and 11 Twenty20s, and it's in the shortest format that Shinwari has made the most significant impact, taking 16 wickets at 16.37. His skill with the ball has resulted in ZTBL coach and former Pakistan international Wajahatullah Wasti comparing his ability with that of Mohammad Amir and Wasti has urged selectors to pick Shinwari for next years ICC World T20. He picked up the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq in the final of the T20 Cup for Departments, and impressing the Pakistan Test and ODI captain could boost his chances given Pakistan's penchant for introducing young fast bowlers to international cricket early in their career.

Hailing from Landi Kotal in the FATA area of Pakistan, Shinwari has always played his club cricket for FATA region and whilst he is still a novice in the highest level of domestic cricket, his performances have already drawn praise from many who have witnessed him bowl.

Speaking exclusively to PakPassion.net, Shinwari talked about his development as a cricketer, his move to ZTBL, the Ramadan T20 Cup, recent success at the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for Departments and his aspirations for the future.



PakPassion.net: How did you find your way into cricket?

Usman Khan Shinwari : My cricketing journey is one that began in the local streets where I was born and bred. This was in the town of Landi Kotal which is part of Khyber Agency [FATA region]. Like many other youngsters in Pakistan I would just play cricket for fun in the streets with my friends or in the local parks at every opportunity. The matches were very crowded with the batsmen facing up to 50 plus fielders at times, so you had to place the ball well to pierce the field in that cricket. It was chaotic but great fun.


PakPassion.net: Do you have any family members who have played or currently play first-class cricket?

Usman Khan Shinwari : No I am the first from my family to make it to first-class cricket and that has been a very proud achievement for me and my family. It’s also been a steep learning curve and I have had some great support already from coaches and team mates alike as well as from my family.


PakPassion.net: How did you progress from playing cricket in the local streets and parks to eventually playing for ZTBL?

Usman Khan Shinwari : I made the decision after speaking with my father to join the Peshawar based Islamia Cricket Academy (ICA) which had coaches such as Wajahatullah Wasti and Qazi Shafiq Lala working there. My father really showed me a lot of support and without his support I would not be here today playing first-class cricket.

The ICA academy was where all of the local boys in my local area wanted to end up in order to improve their cricket skills and I was lucky enough to be given a place at the academy. I learnt the basics of cricket at ICA in a very competitive environment where you have to really stand out to get noticed.


PakPassion.net: So after finding a place at the ICA cricket academy, what happened next?

Usman Khan Shinwari : From the ICA academy I was selected for the FATA district before moving onto Abbottabad region Under-19s. The coaches at Abbottabad region gave me the opportunity to play on a regular basis for their Under-19 side and I will forever be grateful to them for their efforts. I topped the bowling records in my first season at Abbottabad two years ago.


PakPassion.net: So by Pakistani standards you were late in blossoming in district and regional Under 19 cricket?

Usman Khan Shinwari : Yes I only really started playing for the district and region from the age of seventeen which is when I started to take my cricket more seriously I suppose. Before that it was mainly club cricket. This is my third season as a full time cricketer and things have progressed very quickly which is something I am pleased about.


PakPassion.net: Your region is producing some excellent cricketers at the moment. Is there something special in the water?

Usman Khan Shinwari : (laughs). No there’s nothing special in the water, just a real hunger and desire to play cricket at the highest level and to play for Pakistan. People are cricket mad in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions. Everywhere you go people are either playing cricket, watching cricket or talking about cricket.

What is important to mention though is that if there was more investment and better facilities the regions would produce even more first-class and international cricketers. People are playing cricket in very difficult conditions in those regions and the facilities are, unfortunately, below standard. I can only imagine the type of improvement we will see, if the facilities were better and some money pumped into cricket in these regions.


PakPassion.net: You seemed to have escaped the notice of the national Under-19 selectors?

Usman Khan Shinwari : I was called up to a training camp in Lahore for one of the Under-19 world cup tournaments and made one of the squads but I never really flourished for Pakistan Under-19s. There’s a lot of competition and unfortunately I never made the grade at that level. However I guess it's now that I need to make up for lost time.


PakPassion.net: You actually signed for KRL didn’t you before you ended up at your current department team ZTBL?

Usman Khan Shinwari : Yes I played for KRL Under-19s for one season. I took 36 wickets and finished top of the averages, then when I was over-age for the Under-19s, I played a few matches for the senior KRL team.


PakPassion.net: Why the sudden move from KRL to ZTBL?

Usman Khan Shinwari :The KRL batsman Ali Naqvi spotted me when I was at the ICA academy and asked me to sign for KRL. I had no hesitation to sign for a big department like KRL but then ZTBL coach and former Pakistan batsman Wajahutallah Wasti spoke with Ali Naqvi about a possible move to ZTBL. At the end of the day I just wanted to play first-class cricket and I didn’t mind which team I played for, but opted to agree with both Naqvi and Wasti and signed for ZTBL.


PakPassion.net: You first caught the eye of the public during the Moin Khan Ramadan tournament earlier this year. Tell us about that tournament and how things changed for you after that tournament?

Usman Khan Shinwari : Yes absolutely, that tournament really did make a lot of difference for me. I was on the fringes of the ZTBL squad but after that tournament I was called up to the ZTBL squad and haven’t looked back since. I have played regularly for ZTBL ever since my performances at the Ramadan Cup. They’ve picked me in all formats this season and it has been wonderful to be given that opportunity and a continued run in the side.


PakPassion.net: Who are your cricketing heroes and role models?

Usman Khan Shinwari : That’s an easy question. Wasim Akram is my hero. He's the best left arm bowler ever and I hope to receive some coaching from him one day. He was a fantastic bowler and I look forward to the day when I get the chance to meet him and talk to him about bowling and to get some advice from him.


PakPassion.net: Which is your stock delivery?

Usman Khan Shinwari : The outswinger to the right handed batsman is my stock delivery but I’m working on other deliveries too. I think at my age, it’s very rare that you are the finished article as a bowler so I have lots to learn and work on and I’m confident that I can develop my bowling so that I have the inswinger and the outswinger in my armoury as well as some more tricks.


PakPassion.net: A few people are suggesting that you may prefer to play for Afghanistan over Pakistan?

Usman Khan Shinwari : My dream is to play for Pakistan and no other nation.


PakPassion.net: You were part of the successful ZTBL squad that recently lifted the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for Departments, explain how it felt to win that tournament?

Usman Khan Shinwari : Firstly I think it’s important to acknowledge the efforts of the Pakistan Cricket Board for organising the tournament and giving cricketers the chance to show their talent live on television. It was good to see the crowds turn up particularly for the semi finals and final.

To just take part in the tournament was an achievement for me but then to be part of an unbeaten team that went on to win the competition was just unbelievable. I really enjoyed taking part in the tournament, it has definitely helped with my development as a cricketer and it was good to play alongside and against current and former international cricketers.


PakPassion.net : Speaking of international cricketers, how was it to look across your changing room and see Saeed Ajmal in the same colours?

Usman Khan Shinwari : It was surreal. A few days earlier I had been watching him on television in South Africa and the next thing I know is that he is sat near me playing for the same team. We had a strong team going into the tournament with many former and current international cricketers and a nice blend of youth and experience and to have Saeed Ajmal available towards the end of the tournament really boosted the morale of the boys at ZTBL.

I particularly also want to mention the ZTBL skipper Imran Nazir for his support and guidance. He really helped me throughout the T20 Cup for Departments and he really made me feel welcome in the dressing room. It was nice being part of a dressing room where you didn’t feel like you were the new kid on the block amongst many household names.


PakPassion.net : Did you ever imagine that you would take five wickets in the final of the Faysal Bank T20 Cup for Departments ?

Usman Khan Shinwari : Absolutely not. You always want to do well especially when the match is on television and you know that your friends and family will be watching. But not in my wildest dreams did I expect to take five wickets. It was one of those unforgettable days when everything clicked in place and luck was on my side. Hopefully I’ll have many more days in future like the day of the final.


PakPassion.net : Not a good idea though to dismiss the current ODI and Test captain for a duck?

Usman Khan Shinwari : (laughs) It was one of those things, I just put the ball in the right place and he nicked it. I was bowling with good rhythm and when you are in the zone then anything is possible. To dismiss one of Pakistan’s top batsmen and the current Test and One Day International captain was just brilliant. I do hope though, that he forgives me when it comes to future selection.


PakPassion.net : So what now for Usman Khan Shinwari, what’s the plan, what happens next?

Usman Khan Shinwari : There’s lots of domestic cricket taking place at the moment. A four day competition as well as the one day tournament so there is plenty of cricket to keep me busy. International cricket is my aim, I just need to keep impressing, keep performing and keep taking wickets and bowling well.

I want to learn, I’m keen to improve and I want to become a complete bowler and for that to happen I need to learn my trade in domestic cricket. It’s my first full season and things are going well, but it’s a case of carrying on with the good work and developing my all round game.

In Pakistan you can get called up to international cricket despite having only played a few domestic matches. We've seen that happen in the past so many times and boys become household names literally overnight.

Some will say that I need more first class matches before international selection but I know that even at this stage if I am picked for Pakistan I won't let anyone down and feel that I am ready for the challenge. Yes I am raw, but sometimes that can be a good thing as you just play your natural game without any inhibition.


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I am really excited about his talent - hope he is allowed to develop and not put in the limelight too far ahead of his time
 
What a story it will be if this boy ends up in the international team! I'm not sure whether he will flourish immediately but it will sure be a feel good story.
 
Nice to speak with Usman.

He's a young man who has a real desire and passion to do well in cricket and has a self belief and confidence about his abilities.

Pakistan is infamous for throwing young fast bowlers into the international set up and who knows, maybe Usman could be the next one in line.
 
Surely one beastly performance can't be enough for an international debut, even Amir had to play a full season before being picked.
 
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PP always going the extra yard for Pakistan cricket fans, really engaging read.
 
Sounds like a sensible person, knows what he needs to do and how which is good to see. Wish him all the best.
 
Good interview.
It has been a long time since I was excited about a pace prospect from our country. I have high hopes from this man.
He should be Usman Khan Shinwari;not Wasm Akram 2.0. He will love to play cricket and make his own name and fame. :wasim
 
Hope he can make it in Pak colors sooner rather than later !
 
One of friends knows him personaly and has played cricket with him. He praises him all the time and also mentioned that usman can bat well too. He is a hard hitter bowling allrounder.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk
 
Sensible comments.

PakPassion.net: Which is your stock delivery?

Usman Khan Shinwari : The outswinger to the right handed batsman is my stock delivery but I’m working on other deliveries too. I think at my age, it’s very rare that you are the finished article as a bowler so I have lots to learn and work on and I’m confident that I can develop my bowling so that I have the inswinger and the outswinger in my armoury as well as some more tricks.

One of friends knows him personaly and has played cricket with him. He praises him all the time and also mentioned that usman can bat well too. He is a hard hitter bowling allrounder.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using Tapatalk

Yes as I said in another thread he has a reputation of hitting some quick runs down the order even if his statistics right now don't show it (like Bhatti).
 
So here it is, the player whom I was referring to in a thread on PP finally gets interviewed. I have seen him bowling and to some extent considering his age, he seemed like a talent Pakistan can use in limited over cricket. He was bowling, out swing as far as I remember while hitting 140 Km/h which is certainly remarkable.
 
Good interview.
It has been a long time since I was excited about a pace prospect from our country. I have high hopes from this man.
He should be Usman Khan Shinwari;not Wasm Akram 2.0. He will love to play cricket and make his own name and fame. :wasim

Yes I don't like it when folk start comparing our young bowlers and batsmen to former legends. It's unfair on the youngsters and adds pressure on them right from the outset.
 
Imagine how many youngters in FATA he will inspire if he played for Pakistan. Hope peace will return to FATA soon and many Usman khans will come out from that region. Its good to see talented cricketers coming from remote areas. When Pakistan used to rule the hockey world, it was due to the fact that hockey was popular even in the remotest areas of Pakistan, hope same will be true regarding cricket now.
 
Imagine how many youngters in FATA he will inspire if he played for Pakistan. Hope peace will return to FATA soon and many Usman khans will come out from that region. Its good to see talented cricketers coming from remote areas. When Pakistan used to rule the hockey world, it was due to the fact that hockey was popular even in the remotest areas of Pakistan, hope same will be true regarding cricket now.

Afridi is also from FATA, he inspired many too but sadly that went on a bad route (as M. Yousuf put it, no youngster should follow Afridi :p )
 
Should play a bit more at domestic level before making the move to international cricket. I watched the final though and he looked a really good bowler, I hope he gets selected one day.
 
Good luck to the young man and hopefully he will flourish when given the chance at highest level, as fans it would be nice to see such a raw player been thrown in at highest level and having sucsess and it will bring back fond memories of the players who have done it in the past.
 
PakPassion.net : Not a good idea though to dismiss the current ODI and Test captain for a duck?

Usman Khan Shinwari : (laughs) It was one of those things, I just put the ball in the right place and he nicked it. I was bowling with good rhythm and when you are in the zone then anything is possible. To dismiss one of Pakistan’s top batsmen and the current Test and One Day International captain was just brilliant. I do hope though, that he forgives me when it comes to future selection.

Well boy, seems like you might have impressed Uncle Misbah enough to merit a place in the squad!
 
Great to see the game has finally made transition to these areas. I hope PCB provides him proper coaching to make him a finish product and he doesn't end up struggling on his own (like Irfan) for many years.
 
Delighted for Usman.

I hope he gets a chance rather than just the plane ride to the UAE.

Great to see Pakistan cricket once again throwing caution to the wind and giving a young man with only a few games behind him a chance in international cricket.
 
Looks good talent hopefully he delivers in International stage.
 
Excellent effort by PP .. as usual! Thanks! :)

I hope he gets a chance.... but who is he going to replace realistically.... Junaid? I mean, Bilawal just had a great series in SAF, Sohail Tanveer had a great outing against AFG..... so I doubt if Hafeez or Misbah will take a chance with him.
 
i hope he gets selected because he is a decent prospect
 
I am afriad its to early and to be honset his 5 wickets were more batsmen fault than his bowling,
 
Only bowled 1 over today:( hope he is not dropped for next game or he will join a long list of people who have had one bad performance then been dropped ie not given enough chances
 
Can everybody just relax.

He is 19 years old and this Pakistan's way of exposing a young player to the international scene. He bowled an over and fielded.

This will allow him to feel his way in.

Lets see how he does in the 2nd game.
 
To early to pass any judgment. Junaid khan was bowling at 127-130 km/hr in first couple of games. Now he can crank it up to 139-144 km/hr.
 
Sure you are, you had a one off performance and desperate to get into the side and think you are ready for INTERNATIONAL cricket? You reap what you sow. Shouldn't have been selected ahead of players like Sadaf Hussain. One of the biggest selection blunders in recent years!
 
lol it's only T20s man chill out with the big claims of 'massive selection blunders'.

Poor chap Usman had a tough time but he will become a better bowler now that he has had taste of what Intl cricket is all about. Will be back stronger next, insha'Allah.
 
So are you saying someone should be selected on a one-off performance and should be selected ahead of someone like Sadaf Hussain who has 200 wickets at an average of 17.8 from 40 matches?
 
I dont think its his fault that he did not perform. its the selection's fault first to send him with squad and then team managment to expose him this badly.
 
This is how politics ruin careers. Since the domestic final was televized and our sevy chairman insisted on getting the poor boy selected, he got a beating of lifetime. He needs to prove himself in domestic circuit for a reasonable sample of matches and if he has it in him, will get a chance again.
 
Hopefully the selectors/chairman have learned a lesson now, you can't pick a player after only one good performance.

There are so many bowlers in domestic who deserved the chance before him.

I would just have picked Umar Gul because he is the best fast bowler in this format and he is experienced.
 
He overall had a good T20 tourney.
it was a gamble but I am happy we are giving more and more youngsters a chance.
 
So are you saying someone should be selected on a one-off performance and should be selected ahead of someone like Sadaf Hussain who has 200 wickets at an average of 17.8 from 40 matches?

Yes. Sadaf Hussain is yet to play a domestic T20. :))
 
There has to be a better way to test these youngsters than throw them in a critical game like today.
 
There has to be a better way to test these youngsters than throw them in a critical game like today.

Exactly, he should have been given 10 overs for one of the ODIs instead of throwing him in a t20 where one's confidence can get affected.
 
We have no international cricket at home - this is the only way they will get a chance.

What needs to be done now is for PCB to help Shinwari iron out his issues etc
 
This guy also got smacked today. I feel he is too inexperienced but I still have high hopes from him. Look how JK and Irfan started out and look where they are on the hierarchy now. I would still add him to ODI squad because it's not as much of a batsmans game as t20 and you have more time
 
That's what a gamble is. Still has a world of potential, hope he doesnt become another Wahab
 
This guy also got smacked today. I feel he is too inexperienced but I still have high hopes from him. Look how JK and Irfan started out and look where they are on the hierarchy now. I would still add him to ODI squad because it's not as much of a batsmans game as t20 and you have more time

Junaid Khan and Irfan performed in domestic. Let Usman Shinwari perform in domestic and earn his spot. Just got selected on the basis of one game. Selectors got a a slap. His List A record is ordinary. So including in ODIs is a bad idea. He hasn't been selected for the ODI series. Rightly!
 
Well it was clearly evident that the guy is not ready for international cricket, to raw. But this experience will do a world of good for him, now needs to go back and work on his game. Has the ingredients to be successful, now the PCB need to make sure that he is nurtured well. Its not the end of the world.
 
It was a good experience for him.

He's young so hopefully he will learn from it and become better.

He has things going for him like good seam position and decent pace. Just like Irfan he will be better in 18 months time if he works hard at his game.
 
This is how politics ruin careers. Since the domestic final was televized and our sevy chairman insisted on getting the poor boy selected, he got a beating of lifetime. He needs to prove himself in domestic circuit for a reasonable sample of matches and if he has it in him, will get a chance again.

Correction - it was not chairman, it was our test captain Misbah who forced his inclusion :)
 
I sincerely hope that this lad doesn't become another of those cricketers who are tried for a couple of matches and then discarded for the rest of their careers.

It was a gamble selecting him, but let's hope that he gets more chances in future.
 
Usman Khan Shinwari Is Injured or What not Playing in Domestic Matches for ZTBL

Usman Shinwari is Great Talent Will comeback Soon
 
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hasham bro where are sadaf hussain, mir hamza and usman shinwari these days. why they not playing faysal bank t20.
 
Usman Khan Shinwari Thread

I guess the hype has died down
 
I thought by now he'd have recovered from the phainta dished out be Perera :shakib

In all fairness, looked extremely ordinary and on second thought, those who said its too early to pick him were right. The idea of having him carrying the momentum of that devastating spell was obviously wrong because it didn't work out.

Should be forgotten unless he has a good couple of seasons in FC cricket. Meanwhile, guys like Ehsan and Sadaf should be tried to put their mettle to test.
 
I would be keen to see his progress from here on.
He should make a comeback if he has a couple of good seasons.
Ehsan and Sadaf are the men for the moment.:ehsan :sadaf
 
If he can develop swing and can bowl at pace, he will be a good prospect. But was too early to pick him.

So far, he is very raw, have no swing and 90% of the time trundles in 130s kph.

Needs to be developed and taught.
 
Haha he is younger than them all and he is a bigger monster than Bhatti and whoever else that is. He is is correct age FYI
 
Shinwari looks bulky in that pic ! Looks like someone Has been throwing around weight in the gym !
 
What happened to our Chaminda Vaas the foggy n cold weather made him one game wonder!
 
Always nice to see promising youngsters perform well in domestic cricket. Hope he's ready when he finally gets his second chance.
 
Took a 6-fer today in a fierce spell.

In the very same match Shehzad Azam took 7 wickets and he also bowled to better batsmen. Not taking anything away from Shinvari, just putting things in perspective.
 
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