Saturday Nov 02, 2019
The media, the critics and even out-and-out haters generally have no choice but to zip it when young players are given opportunities.
Youngsters not only bring the promise of something new but also the possibility of a rare jackpot that a generational talent could be unearthed.
But then there is something called too young. This is where the newly called up Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah fits the bill.
This 16-year-old’s inclusion in the Test squad for the Australia Test series excited some but also drew murmurs that to pick him for the tour of Australia was akin to feeding him to the lions.
It may be a bother for some but for the boy himself, the kid who’s still a 105 days away from his 17th birthday, it’s nothing
“I do not have any pressure from the fact that my age gets discussed so much. I do not think about my age. I only think of performing at the highest level,” he told an assortment of reports at an open media session in Lahore on Saturday.
Instead of letting himself be distracted by outside chatter, Shah says he want to focus harder than ever on his cricket.
“I am grateful to God that I am getting the chance to represent Pakistan at this age. This time though, I will work harder than usual so I could avail this chance,” he said.
Shah, who took nine wickets for Central Punjab in the drawn Quaid-e-Azam Trophy clash with Sindh earlier this week, will leave for Australia shortly. There, some of the world’s best batsmen await him.
When asked if he has a specific plan to deal with the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner, he said: “It’s not that just the wickets of David Warner and Steve Smith are important. A bowler has to work hard for all the wickets and every wicket is important for him. [As a bowler] you only focus on bowling well.”