Naseem Shah is not a typical youngster. Many people silence their alarms when they go off. Maybe you had a wild night out, maybe you worked too much, maybe you just needed a little more sleep. Push the snooze switch and go to sleep. Youngsters deserve a break.
Naseem may be fulfilling many people’s dreams, but this youngster hasn’t had the opportunity for a long time. Any slack in Pakistan’s fast-bowling attack has merely been loaded upon his slender – and traditionally susceptible – back and shoulders. When Shaheen Afridi was ruled out of the Tests owing to injury, Naseem took over as the de facto attacker.
When Pakistan’s white-ball options were exhausted, he was pressed to serve among both formats. In our modern era, the idea of an off-season seems antiquated, but arguably the origin of this endless Pakistan season can be traced back to July 2022, when Pakistan travelled Sri Lanka for a 2-match series.
Most balls bowled by fast bowlers in International Cricket since July 2022
Naseem hasn’t taken a break thereafter. The only occasions he skipped matches were Covid-19, pneumonia, and shoulder pain. When he got back from the medical facility following his bout with pneumonia, he travelled to New Zealand to participate in three warm-up matches for the T-20 World Cup. He returned for the last match after recovering from a shoulder ailment sustained throughout the home Test season, bowling more overs than any other Pakistan pace bowler.
As a matter of fact, he was selected for the One-Day International schedule, which began in Karachi with a five-wicket haul and won the Player of the Match Award. One can be concerned about Naseem’s long-term viability, yet he is stunning in the present. It’s simple to overlook how rough his comeback to world cricket was when he was picked to the Sri Lanka Test selection.
He had completed 2 Tests with Australia in March, following a 14-month layoff, much of which he had spend on the injured list recovering a growing catalogue of fast bowling-related ailments. It’s simple to overlook that when he arrived in Rotterdam in August, he’d never delivered an international white-ball delivery, and that when he troubled KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in a memorable first spell in the Asia Cup, he’d never performed a T20I before.
It’s obvious to understand why Pakistan continues drafting him, especially with Shaheen’s unavailability compounding the strain. But Naseem is soaking up a burden that seemed not to be his, taking risks with a physique he hasn’t completely developed. Meanwhile, he’s become one of Pakistan cricket’s foremost recognized and popular personalities.
Pakistan may understand one day that they must limit his contributions with equal consideration. But, in a culture where long-term planning is inevitably replaced by short-term pleasure, Naseem feasts while being feasted on. If they are not cautious, this could end up the glory career path of Naseem shah, rather than the start of a period in which he has become one of fast bowling’s brightest stars.