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Hunain Shah aspires to follow brother Naseem’s footsteps

Elder brother Naseem Shah’s heroics as a fast bowler have inspired his younger brother Hunain Shah to a cricketing journey of his own.

The right-arm pacer is featuring in the Central Punjab side in the ongoing National U19 One-Day Tournament.

Hunain made an impression with his pace and it seems the penchant for fast bowling runs in the family with the right-armer contributing a wicket (8 overs, 41 runs, 1 wicket) and producing sustained pace and hostility in his side’s four-wicket victory over Southern Punjab on Tuesday.

Hunain did not need to look far for inspiration as Naseem’s meteoric rise in the last one year convinced Hunain to take-up cricket. He has been playing club cricket in Lahore, the rigours of which have helped him learn the nuances of the game. For fast bowling tips and advice, he has Naseem ever-ready to share his knowledge.

“Even if Naseem is on a tour he maintains contact with me,” Hunain told pcb.com.pk. “When he speaks to me, he talks about his fast bowling experiences and gives me very useful tips. As he has worked with some of the best fast bowling coaches he has a lot to offer to somebody like me who has just started his cricketing journey.

“He speaks to me before my matches and offers a lot of help and guidance especially since I am striving to develop an out-swinger like him.

“I developed real interest in the game when I first saw Naseem playing for Pakistan on the TV screen; it was of course a proud moment for me and my family.”

Meanwhile, Naseem is fully backing his younger brother and feels he has the skills to become a quality fast bowler with his natural pace being a real bonus.

“I have four brothers and two sisters, and like me my both younger brothers are cricket-crazy,” said Naseem, the youngest bowler ever to record a Test hattrick. “Hunain really wants to do well as a fast bowler. He copies my action. Growing up we used to play tape-ball cricket at home, which was very competitive as both of us gave it all while enjoying the game.

“He decided to appear in U19 trials and the next thing I knew was that he was playing for Central Punjab U19. His progress makes me really happy. People are already impressed with his pace and for his age he is really bowling quickly. I wish him the best and, of course, would continue to support him.

“I feel his natural abilities can take him a long way and he should focus on bowling at full pace which will help him make an impression and achieve success at all levels of the game.”