BAN vs PAK: Shahnawaz Dahani speaks to his mother ahead of international debut

Pakistan pacer Shahnawaz Dahani is in line to make his international debut against Bangladesh in the third and final T20I of the current series in Dhaka, the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed on November 22.

Dahani, who had a stellar season in the 2021 Pakistan Super League for Multan Sultans (20 wickets in 11 fixtures), was previously named in the squad for New Zealand ODIs, although the series was cancelled when the visiting team pulled out at the last moment owing to security threats. The 23-year-old pacer, who has 29 T20 wickets to his name at 16.93, will be the 95th cap for Pakistan in the shortest format of the game.

Ahead of his big day, the PCB shared a video of Dahani’s interaction with his mother, who blessed him aplenty and wished him luck before the momentous occasion. “It’s my debut day; I’m excited beyond words. I could not sleep the entire night,” Dahani said. “I had a video call with my mother, she was elated.”

“Representing the nation is every player’s dream – to perform for the nation, play and win games for it. This day was long-awaited. My dream is going to come true today. I wish I had my family members around, I would have debuted in front of their eyes, unfortunately, they are not here in Bangladesh, so [I’m] missing them.”

“I loved playing cricket always; never lost hope and just carried on pursuing my passion dedicatedly. The Almighty has been very kind. I am going to become the first player to represent Pakistan from Larkana, so it’s a massive and proud achievement for me.”

Dahani heavily praised the people back in his city for supporting him throughout. “Larkana has supported me to the extent I cannot describe in words. When I returned after PSL, the response I received from them was overwhelming.”

Revealing who he follows most keenly and idolizes, Dahani said: “Shane Bond, the New Zealand fast-bowler, is my role model. Currently, I look towards Jofra Archer.”

“My aim is to bag the Player of the Match award right at my debut, that would be a significant achievement. I am very excited about playing my first game. I have the blessing of my mother and the almighty with me, Inshallah I will give my 100%”.