England awaits for Bashir

England awaits for Bashir

Somerset’s 20 year old off spinner Shoaib Bashir, who is one of the latest cricketers to join the M&H family will shortly be setting off with England Test party for their series against India.

However, just three years ago his whole cricketing career seemed to be in doubt.

To find out a little bit more about his background and meteoric rise through the ranks, we caught up with Bash while he was in the M&H workshop.

“I’m from Woking in Surrey originally, and first started to play cricket when I was a little kid. I grew up playing at a club called Guildford City, and then when I got older I started to play for Guildford the main club.

“I played age group stuff for them until I was about 15, when I started to play in the senior first team. At the same time I was on the Surrey Academy and then when I was 17 got released from that. 

“Then I found my feet again and decided to move over to Middlesex and Berkshire where I enjoyed my cricket and if you enjoy playing you put in performances that catch the eye and thats my journey.”

Bash then gave us more detail about his cricketing career to date.

“Everyone has their own journey, but honestly its just been such a special, special journey.

“It was tough for me to be released from the Surrey Academy when I was 17, but I think that gave me a bit more passion and motivation to work harder. You can take it how you like, but if you really want something you put 110% in and that’s what I did. 

“It is demoralising, and it’s hard for a kid to be told that your’e not good enough. I used that as a motivation factor. I’m just so grateful for the opportunities I have been given.”

Bash has been given the total support of his family in his journey. 

“My whole family has supported me through thick and thin, but my uncle has been my main driving force behind it all. He’s been the one that got me into cricket and took me to games, trials with different counties, he’s been the driving force- he is so very pleased with the way things have gone for me."

“It’s been very special for me and I thank God every day for everything he has given me- its just so special, its hard to put it into words.”

Bash explained how he first came to the attention of Somerset.

“It was the semi final of the Under 18 plate competition and Berkshire were playing Somerset at Wells. We rocked up to Wells not in particularly high hopes but I remember that game quite clearly because it took us two and half hours to get there as the traffic was busy so I had to wake up quite early. But that game was very special .

“We bowled first and I think the first ball went to the boundary and we all thought yeah we’re in for a long day here. But I got an opportunity to perform and it was crazy - we had little expectation and just expected to have fun which we did and we won and I got five wickets for 19 or something like that. It was crazy looking back.”

Did Bash ever think that that might be the start of anything?

“No not at the time I just took it that we were into the finals now. I’m the sort of guy who takes things small steps at a time, but thank God for everything that he has given me, but I didn’t think that much of it to be honest.

Soon after I just got text message from the Middlesex head coach saying that there was an opportunity for me to play for Somerset Seconds. Which I didn’t think too much about I just thought oh yes but it was an amazing opportunity again and I took it. The game happened to be in Guildford where I’d grown up playing, against Surrey as well.

“After that I then played for Somerset Seconds against Warwickshire at Taunton Vale and then the back end of that season I got offered a contract. From there everything has just blossomed.”

Bash went on: “When I played for Somerset Seconds I saw a couple of the boys were playing with M&H bats, they said it was a local company but didn’t realise it was quite this local - like on the ground."

“I then decided to join them, and to have a bat made just for you, exactly the way you like, is something very special and it hasn’t happened to me before. I haven’t ever been anywhere quite like M&H before, nor seen a bat being made. Coming here is a big part of my journey.”

How was he finding living in Taunton?

“Somerset is very different to Surrey! It’s a lovely area here and the countryside around Taunton is beautiful."

“The place is lovely and the people are really friendly and as I go through the town people come up to me a chat to me which is all part of it, and I just love that. The Somerset fans are the best.”

Looking ahead Bash said: “It wont be long before we set off to the UAE for a training camp and then off to India. I have never been there before so I am looking forward to what it brings. As much as I’d like to play there, the experience will be crazy and I am really looking forward to it."

 Bash added: “The experience of being part of the England tour is just fantastic but I want to use that when I get back to help Somerset as well.”