India cricket

Shami's rise from small-time club to country

Seven years ago, Tousif Ali sent his 16-year-old son, Mohammed Shami, from Sahaspur in Uttar Pradesh to Kolkata. The young bowler's story is one of faith and trust

Sidharth Monga in Kolkata

November 9, 2013

Comments: 186 | Text size: A | A
The Mohammed Shami Story

The Dalhousie Athletic Club is about a kilometre from Eden Gardens in Kolkata. It has a tent that serves as a restaurant and bar for its members, it has a practice pitch - half turf, half cement - and an open field of wild grass for a cricket ground. The ground is unkempt, the grass is long, and the pitch can't be seen. Dalhousie is not a club known for its cricket.

About six years ago, Sumon Chakraborty of Dalhousie Club called Debabrata Das of Town Club - one of the better cricket clubs in the city - to come to Rajasthan Club and have a look at a young fast bowler.

Das, a former assistant secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal, asked Chakraborty what the hurry was. He was told it is "a small pearl, kho jayega [he will get lost]". Das says he reached the ground within 20 minutes, saw ten to 15 players practising there, and could easily spot the pearl.

Das recollects: "I asked him, 'What's your name?' 'Mohammed Shami,' he said. 'Where are you from?' 'Sahaspur in Uttar Pradesh.' 'Do you want to play?' 'Yes.' 'Your contract is Rs 75,000 per annum, and 100 per day for your lunch.'

"There was one problem. 'Where will I stay?' he asked. I said, 'My house.' I took Shami home and told my wife this guy will stay with us. After that, he started playing for Town Club."

Playing for Dalhousie before moving to Town Club, Shami had shown pace, but Das says that Dalhousie's Chakraborty and Sumonto Hajra felt the bowler needed to move to a bigger club. Until then, Das says, Shami would stay with other Dalhousie players in the tent or shared hotel rooms, and would be put on the train back to Moradabad, the closest town to Sahaspur, 20km away, where Shami's father ran a spare-parts store for tractors. Shami would make Rs 500 per match at Dalhousie, according to Das.

After taking four wickets in the first innings of his Test debut, and before his five-for in the second, Shami made it a point to thank his parents at the press conference. They had let him follow his dream without putting pressure on him to start earning. It helped that his father had played a lot of cricket - he bowled fast, too - in his village, and appreciated the dedication it would take to make a career out of the sport. The problem was, Sahaspur didn't have any cricket facilities. No grounds, no pitches, only mud fields. Let alone cricket facilities, Sahaspur still gets electricity only for eight hours a day.

"I saw the pace, though," says Tousif Ali, Shami's father. "I could tell he had the skill. His elder brother also bowled fast, but he had a stone in his kidney, after which he joined me in the business. The younger brother also bowls fast, but I knew Shami had the pace. I wanted him to give it a good go."

As Shami graduated college, he started playing in Sonakpur in Moradabad. Badruddin Siddique coached him for a year or so and Tousif went a step ahead, again.

Mohammed Shami bowled with great pace and precision, India v West Indies, 1st Test, Kolkata, 3rd day, November 8, 2013
Mohammed Shami's performance in his debut Test repaid the faith of his family, who allowed him to pursue a dream despite numerous obstacles © BCCI

"UP doesn't even have a club system," Tousif says. "You have to keep going for trials here, where you sometimes get rejected after bowling two-three balls. So I didn't want the story to end with multiple trials. Badruddin knew some people in Kolkata, so we sent him there."

This is where Tousif's knowledge of the progress of his son's career ends. It was a risk sending a 16-year-old to a new city, where he didn't know anybody, and his only sellable skill was the ability to bowl fast. Tousif says if Shami faced hardships, he didn't tell him. It's a story resonant with large parts of the migrant labour population in India. A year later, though, Town Club happened, and Das took Shami under his wing.

"Whenever I came to office, I dropped him off to play cricket," Das says. "After cricket, I used to take him home while returning from work. After one year, I observed he was growing. He was not into gymming or weight training. Running, running, running and net practice. He would take a new ball at the beginning of the net [session], and finish with the last ball, from 1pm to 4pm."

The workers at Dalhousie say similar things about the scrawny little boy who wanted to bowl fast. They used to doubt him, and Shami was keen to prove them wrong. He liked the workers there and he still comes back to the club whenever he is in town.

"[He is a] very simple person," Das says. "Very fond of sleeping, very fond of eating biryani. In every match against a big team - Town v East Bengal, Town v Mohun Bagan - whenever he was playing, if we needed two urgent wickets, I used to tell him, 'Shami, phaad de yaar [Burst through them].' 'Biryani?' he would ask. 'Yes, I will give biryani.' 'Achha gaind do [Okay give me the ball]'." And he would get the wickets.

There would be a lot of friendly sledging too. Once, in a match against Eastern Railway, Town Club were struggling to get the last two wickets. Das recalls: "I told him, 'Ghar mein jaake ammi ka kapda leke so ja [Go home, wear your mother's clothes and go to sleep]. He said, 'Gaind de.' And boom, boom! Two batsmen were bowled.

"Shami never wanted money. His goal was the stumps, the sound that comes from hitting the stumps. Ever since I saw him, most of his wickets were bowled. He bowls with an upright seam, on or just outside off stump, and gets it to cut back in."

Das says Shami still takes his advice in all matters. "Four months ago, he came to my house and said he wanted to purchase a flat," says Das. "I did the needful for the registrations etc. without any cost, except for the stamp duty. I think he has taken possession of the flat now."

If Shami doesn't go after the money, if he still respects Das so much, why, then, did he leave Das' Town and go to Mohun Bagan?

"I let him go," Das says. "If I hadn't let him go, India wouldn't have got Shami today. When he was in our club, he made it to the Bengal squad, but didn't get to play in the XI. I saw the kind of facilities Mohun Bagan has, the kind of political power Mohun Bagan has, the kind of financial power Mohun Bagan has, the muscle Mohun Bagan has. We can't match it. And I wanted the boy to get a chance.

"Yesterday [on Friday], he told me he doesn't want to play for Mohun Bagan anymore. He is a very emotional cricketer."

On Friday, Shami ran through the West Indies line-up with 30,000 Kolkatans cheering him on, intimidating the opposition batsmen. Watching in Sahaspur, the family saw their faith had paid off. People now identify Tousif as Shami's father, and he is proud of it. Seven years ago, he took the risk of sending his son alone into the unknown. A year later, another man took the risk of bringing home a boy he knew nothing about, except that he bowled fast.

Cricket can do with more such fathers, club owners and, of course, boys who bowl fast.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 16, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

YOU COULD LOCK the Gasman in a padded cell with some dental floss and a bowl of Jell-O, and he'd find a way to make something to explode." James patterson.

Similar sort of story applies with Dhoni when he was in Kharagpur,used to play popular "Khep"(Early version of T10, T20) matches for local clubs , we were kids at that time ,used to bunk school to see him playing so we can learn his way of batting, he was that much popular even at that became an obsession of the local youth when he got selected for India A but unfortunately somehow luck doesn't favor them even with gifted talents and we are still hoping someone will find another uncut diamond like Dhoni was found. but he fought hard for this day, somehow he, Manoj tiwary, Ashok dinda and now sami they all have similar stories, they inspire us, let us believe that if you give your best then it is even glorious to fail.

Posted by Gully_11 on (November 13, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

Amazing...Hope he maintains his hunger of taking wickets in him...very high expectations of having a deadly fast Indian bowler...may be master of death bowling...Goo shami..all the best

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (November 12, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

Take a bow Mr. Das! Where do you see people of different religions cutting across those man-made boundaries, letting him stay in his house and telling the woman of the house to cook Biryani for a teenaged stranger? It happens only this great country called BHARATH. Proud to be an Indian.

However, special mention needs to be made of Ishant Sharma and James Faulkner. India is forever indebted to these three, without whom Shami bhai wouldn't have seen the light of day.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

Good to see the sportsperson, who have worked hard move up the economic ladder. The lights of Ravindra Jedeja, Pathan brothers, Kamran Khan (Rajasthan Pacer), Pravin Tambe (another Rajasthan Pacer). Mohammed Shami's story is very heartwarming.

I think Sidharth Monga should write a book on Indian stars - who had became stars from most difficult background.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

I am left without words. Go on Shami....(cricket fan from Bangladesh)

Posted by   on (November 12, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

In a country where million are spent on prima donna, pampered athletes, this inspiring true life story mind you is such a welcome relief

Posted by   on (November 12, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

Great Story.. nicely compiled... Mr. Das... you are one selfless soul who did what heart feels right.. India Thanks you.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2013, 0:36 GMT)

@SridharKalyan on (November 11, 2013, 11:27 GMT):

You may add Irfan Pathan & his parents; who used to live within a mosque!

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 11, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

he is a world class bowler.Hyperbole is a great trait of Indian cricket. There is a nother term for it as well and that is a lack of depth and knowledge.They are either the greatest or the worst.What happens in next test if he gets no wickets? Should they dump him for ever

Posted by sams235 on (November 11, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

Lets not get carried away, shall we? He has played just 1 test mach!

I remember seeing a couple of articles when Sreesant made his debut. He fizzled out in no time. Give him sometime and lets see how consistent he is.

Posted by SridharKalyan on (November 11, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami - their stories are proof that there are many people out there with more than a golden heart......they not only recognize talent and potential, but go out of the way to ensure that it is allowed to grow to its full. God Bless these young men and their families. I am sure Shami will now reward his parents with his new wealth, like Jadeja did for his parents. We wish to see many more successes for these young men of talent.

Posted by Amit_13 on (November 11, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

Need some parents to believe that times have changed. And for budding cricketers to acknowledge that nothing teaches like survival does. Its a good time for this final transition... the newbies are capable of looking everyone in the eye with pride. And there's enough time to get ready to defend the Cup next year.

Posted by KishorKumar25 on (November 11, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

Beautiful. All the best to Shami. Thanks to all those who supported him to grow.

Posted by Sugath on (November 11, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

This is the worst that can happen to a new guy, too many accolades with only one match. Allow him to be what he is and let him deliver. The same lot who write accolades turn to critical stuff the moment the players fails in a single match. Do not create too much hype and try to blow his conceit sky high, which will be quite harmful to the player.

Posted by McGorium on (November 11, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

@kiwiRocker: This piece is a human interest piece: a small-town kid making it big. Even if Shami lasts only a couple of years, he'll have far surpassed what he could/would have been had he stayed in Sahaspur. IPL contracts, a good income, a hopefully better life. And that's the only point being made here. This article hasn't compared him to Steyn or Waqar (I find Steyn the superior bowler compared to Waqar, but that's a separate discussion). As far as desperation for a good quick bowler is concerned, there is some of that, but there'd be a similar piece on Dhoni if he made it big today(similar humble background).The lack of a good fast bowler is the reason why India's test win-loss percentage is second only to England since 2010 (8-0 whitewash notwithstanding). India's test win-loss %age is 50% better than Pakistan in that same period. Most normal people would read this and feel happy for a man who has bettered his station in life. Obviously you're cut of a different cloth.

Posted by 13talatshahid on (November 11, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Dhiraj Parsana...who played for India...has very similar story...

Posted by   on (November 11, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

Very touching and inspiring. Hope he is not sidelined by BCCI politics and SiuthernIndia dominance. Wish him well in SouthAfrica this winter and UK next summer.

Posted by ashy2win on (November 11, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

Really its Fabulous performance by Shami on His Debut. Both The Debutans Rohit & Shami performed exclusively where they gave India Innings win on the 3rd Day itself.

Posted by shabbir on (November 11, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

Good Luck Shami and keep up the hard work. Lot do Hard Work but is paid off only payed off when selfless people like Mr. Das recognise the talent and rope you out of mediocrity and support of the family. Don't get complicent no keep up the good work

Posted by SaifS on (November 11, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

SHAMI PLEASE DONT GO TO MRF PACE ACADEMY, they've done that before, with Munaf, with Irfan, and many many others. BCCI please let him play his natural game! (No Offence Intended to anyone, talking with my experience alone)

Posted by   on (November 11, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

Dear Shami,

GREAT dedication and hard work.

Try to locate 10 good boys from your State and approach people like Nita Ambani to sponsor and to take care of their expenses.

Locate Talent by seeing boys bowl for 1 or more days not 2 to 3 balls as mentioned in the above article.

You coach them and help India with 4 great 150 Km speed Fast bowlers. These bowlers should be taken to pitches in South Africa and Australia for 2 months in a year and trained on those pitches also. Coaching need not be only after you retire from Test Cricket. It can be when you are playing for India. You appoint coaches who are full time and you contribute in obtaining sponsorship for expenses of the boys. You spend time with the boys whenever time permits between matches.

I liked your balls pitched slightly outside the Off stump moving IN and hitting the Middle Stump.


Posted by esyed on (November 11, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

Very well said MSD! Congratulations to team India on their fantastic win over the West Indies. Credit goes to selectors and team management showing great faith in the Shami. India will have a nice fast bowler in the years to come. Hats off to Mr. Das.

Posted by bala0131 on (November 11, 2013, 3:07 GMT)

Let us not get carried away. We will know how good Shami is after 5-6 test matches. He probably knows Eden Gardens wicket well. I agree, he has started very well in his test career. Mr Das is a sincere, caring class act. Well written article by Sid Monga!!

Posted by inswing on (November 11, 2013, 2:29 GMT)

Kudos to Das and Shami's father. And to Shami himself for his hard work, talent, and attitude. But it is too early to get excited. We don't know whether he will be a good bowler, a mediocre bowler like most Indian pace bowlers, or a below average player like Ishanth. India is desperate for fast bowlers, so any hint of talent gets hyped beyond proportion. India produces at least one "great" bowler every year who disappears in a year or two. Remember Varun Aaron? Praised for exactly the same thing: bowling fast. And the list that Varun joins is endless, all toiling away in Ranji somewhere. One is also reminded of the "next great" Australian cricketer Ashton Agar after one good Test. Don't get excited and keep your fingers crossed. India will find the next great bowlder when Pakinstan finds the next great batsman.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 10, 2013, 23:48 GMT)

It was only last year that Sourav Ganguly was insisting on informing the country that Ashok Dinda was the BEST "quick" bowler in India. One only had to see an over from Dinda to comprehend the absurdity of that comment.

India has the quality bowlers that are missing from the national team. Unfortunately, they get lost in the large political wilderness. Thankfully, Shami was exposed to the right people. What we need in Indian cricket is less LUCK and a better scouting system that quickly identifies and nurtures top talent.

Posted by gauravm5 on (November 10, 2013, 23:32 GMT)

so we Indian fans have again started doing the same, making a player superstar on the basis of one good performance (5 of his 9 wickets were that of tailenders) & that too against players of world's number 8 test team. Anderson, Steyn, Pattison, Ryan Harris & Ajmal does the same which Shami did in kolkatta in every alternate test match they play. Most of Shami dismissals were clean bowled & came against world number 8 test team batsmen. Do u people think batsmen like Smith, Amla, Kallis & ABD would allow the ball to pass between their leg & bat so easily. B4 start of tests, SA wud watch Shami videos & I assure u that it wud b very difficult for Shami even to create any trouble for them. Just wait & watch Shami's, he has to improve himself continuously if he want to last for 6-7 years. In last 10 years, India has seen lot of shamis coming in with a bang & going out as a fused bomb, RP, Ishant, Munaf, Sree, Irfan, Umesh, PK, Dinda, VK, Mithun, Balaji, Ashwin, Ojha & Nehra..

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 10, 2013, 22:22 GMT)

@KiwiRocker , you are 100% right that indians overhype new indian fast bowlers. Indian bowlers bowl good first 2 years. Once all the good struff between bones dried up they gets injured. Same thing will happen to shami. Its always like that because indians do not eat enough meat everyday and do weight lifting excerize which repair and regrow the muscles between joints. They go to gym do toning not lift. Running will kill your body , its like draining energy out of the system. You have to rebuild and heal and restore. Only heavy squat able to build muscle between knees , joints. I do not shami listens to anyone that much. Until he develop gym obsession he is a goner.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

Cricket can do with more such fathers, club owners and, of course, boys who bowl fast.

Posted by android_user on (November 10, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

Now that he has made it to the big club, hopefully he will stay there..good luck Shammi

Posted by captaincool79 on (November 10, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

A great story! Great insight into the makings of may be one of the best bowlers India might produce in the future... Sorry cannot contain my excitement. This proves yet again how within the last decade or so people from lesser known cricketing towns or centers are showing up playing for India. We all hope he continues to perform consistently at this level and keeps his feet ground (this is the biggest ychallenge). Credit must go to the selectors and the Indian Team think tank for reposing the faith in this young man. Lot of good sensible cricketing experts like Sourav Ganguly have said he is not the "finished article" yet and how much we would all love him to go and continue to intimidate batsman with his pace and bounce. If Team India has it's way it will be great to dish out this kind of fast bowling skill because they have always been subject to it from fast bowlers from West Indies, Australia, England, Pakistan and South Africa in the past.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

I salute to MR Debabrata Das

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 10, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

A request to cricinfo - and I am sure many of the readers will like this - since we come across some great articles and some great comments by the readers as well please allow others to have the opportunity to do a thumbs up (and/or) even a thumbs down on the comments so that people who write the comments will know how many people share their views and how many people admired their views. It's nice to feel appreciated you know :)

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (November 10, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

If there are fairy tales in reality, this is definitely it. What a heart warming and inspiring story of Mohammed Shami. Every young cricketer, especially fast bowlers should read this article. Thanks Sid, and thank you Mr. Das for providing India with this diamond. Soon, I wish to see more fast bowlers like Shami in India. We can do it. For too long we thought we couldn't produce fast bowlers. That's nonsense because if we put our mind and heart to it, we can produce the BEST cricketers in the world. We are a nation of a billion !!!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

We need a bowler like Steyn who bowls at consistent pace even after playing 65+ test matches. He is growing old, but his pace is still the best in the game. We had a few bowlers in the past who started well and bowled exceptionally well for a couple of seasons and then an injury or some cramps would damage their career. (Munaf is the best example here).

Posted by Behind_the_Wicket on (November 10, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

People forget Wasim Akram's words about Shami , He said he is the best bowler in India. Wasim was the bowling coach of KKR at that time & he wants Shami to play for Indian National Team.

Posted by Bang_La on (November 10, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

I am extremely impressed with few facts in this article. First, the eloquent account written by Sidharth Monga, Second, Shami's father (what a brave and wise man he is!) and Third, Mr. Debabrata Das, being such a wide-hearted person to lodge Shami amidst in India even he didn't know Shami well then. I believe Mr. Das is the diminishing species of famous Kolkata club officials. Hats off to all of them. Thank you very much Mr. Monga.

Posted by ThilankaK on (November 10, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

Where is Sunil Narayan ????? If he was there we have to discus different story !!!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

The pace at which he bowls and the smile after knocking the wickets hides the complexity of a basic rule that is to endure.Superb, but there is destiny involved too.Kudos to Shami's father and Mr.Das!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

well done.....we can see your hard work.....all the best shami.....

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

Mr Das, you have been a second father to Shami. From a Pakistani supporter of Indai (except when it plays Pakistan!), my warmest congratulations.

Posted by Ajay_999 on (November 10, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

During their tour of Zimbabwe India sent a second string side. Shami was in the eleven, he was one of the highest wiket-taker in the series, but was bowling at mid-120's. He still got wickets, which means he has put in extra pace, and he doesn't need it to take wickets. Not saying its ok if he does go back to medium pace, and that was Zimbabwe they were playing against, but I do feel he is hard working and a natural talent. Thanks to those involved in bringing to notice his potential.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 10, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

Sir_ivr thanks for your kind words mate, I'm originally from Pakistan side Kashmir, I would be honest here Pakistan doesn't do anything for Cricket in Kashmir, we Kashmiri always support asian Teams when they Tour in UK, I'm 38 and inshallah my Son will fulfil my dreams one day, I have younger brother who is left handed batting all rounder, who can hit big 6's as Mighty Gayle, I Did spoke to Dr Ali Shah May Allah rest his soul about my brother, he promised me to give him trial but he died, Another words I know many Kashmiri guys they bowl 90mph but they don't av backing and they can't afford to go for trial because they don't have enough money, but I keep my fingers cross that one day my Son inshallah will represent international Team :) Thanks again for your prayers and best wishes, it means a lot to me.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 15:16 GMT)

it is an inspirational story..awesome performance...

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

Leave him alone. Next time if he concedes 30 runs in a meaningless ODI match, he will have a dedicated article deciphering all his shortcomings...

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

another PACER to come from the dusty/ramshackled/impoverished UP stables!Boggles the mind to reckon that RP SINGH(Rae bareilly),Pravinkumar(Meerut),Bhuvanesh (Meerut) and now Shami has emerged from Sahaspur have hailed fro these non descript towns !Made poignant reading!where there is a will....rings a bell loud and clear!The sense of desperation/no flash/no great verbals...just an innate ability to express selves!Great piece Sidharth!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 14:49 GMT)

Amazing story of guts and determination, the boy wanted to bowl fast ....

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Indeed an inspiring story, heart touching for the world. Demostration of real life hard work, dedication, trust, faith , perseverance and big ambition to get success.

Posted by sujayag on (November 10, 2013, 14:41 GMT)

@waqas...this is more of a story about his life...not abt his skills and technique. indians always give due credit when it is if it was indeed wasim who taught him ÉVERYTHING..hats off to him too. but with reference to this write up it is natural to praise shami's father and mr.das. hoping shami concentrates on performance and not what the media offers him (short term glory)

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (November 10, 2013, 14:14 GMT)

I am writing a response for Mahi Kashmiri here. I wonder how old you are. If you are too old to think of international cricket then I am sure you have a son. If you do have one then I wish you the very best of luck in getting him to play for india. Parvez Rasool has already done so and so I think if you or your son bowl fast then give it a try. Sandeep Patil and Roger Binny are wonderful and they will see that he deserves a chance. My best wishes to you.

Posted by golgoal on (November 10, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

@Parvez Kazi Absolutely right bro. If there was "thumbs up" on cricinfo, I would have given you 1million thumbs ups !!!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

It is really heart touch story to hear about Shami. But i like to salute Mr Das who make Shami Dream come true. The most important fact is we all Indians are one which ever religions we belong to. As together we play together we win.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

Well done Muhammad Shami and thumbs up to Mr. Das for providing him the support he needed.

Posted by HiralalMUSA on (November 10, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

What a great story. There is so much talent out there in every small village, every corner of whole world, we need person like Das to pick those GEMS. This story should inspire many people. I hope Shami's story should be available on Youtuebe and in local newspapers, not india, but all over the world. Congratulation to Shami, and ocourse his father, who put a trust in his son.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Brought tears to my eyes.. Well documented Mr Monga.. Kudos to shami.. Being an ardent supporter of cricket, its heartening to see people who put in such efforts are ggetting back the rewards.. Indian team will really become invincible in the times to come

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 10, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

I remember Harsha interviewing Waseem Akram KKR bowling coach, when Waseem gave him 1st match to play for KKR , Harsha said to Akram, you and waqar always go for pace, what do you want to tel us about shami? Akram said he is fast, that's all I want him to do, you can learn art of swing if you bowl fast, but if you can swing but don't bowl fast then it's not good. Shami was only given 2 overs by Ganguly. But he bowled with pace. Thanks to all the mentors behind shami, You deserves the salute, I wish I had ppl backing me then I would av represented Pakistan , but can't play with destiny, All the Best Shami for the future. Best wishes from Cricket Fan.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

No mention of WASIM AKRAM who teaches him real time "the art of reverse swing" to him during his tenure with KKR as bowling coach....even shami himself praised Wasim....STRANGE

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

There are many Like Shami in small towns of India but very few get Das sir and Tousif, He is one of the pearl and should be delt with a good care.

Posted by wapuser on (November 10, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

What a heart touching story...Shami we really proud of you, player who did such hard work deserves place in national team. He showed world that we Indian too can produce FAST bowler who can dominate.Shami you're future of our national team.And I salute you Das sir for developing such a great talent and help him to reach at highest level.

Posted by kurups on (November 10, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

Get more guys like Shami and others....pick them up from wilderness and coach them..instead of going after the Vinay's and Dinda's!!..two of the most overrated bowlers going around in Indian cricket!!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

For god sake, he has played just one match. This is the problem with Indian fast bowlers. They are over-projected after one or two good performances. Let him play 5 or 6 test matches then this article will make great sense. Whatever happened to Umesh Yadav or Varun Aeron? Have they lived up to expectations? Same is the case with new Pakistan batsmen.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Best wishes to shami and MrDas, u did a wonderful thing.

Posted by SandipManjrekar on (November 10, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

Just thanks to Ishant Sharma for having wonderful bowling for prolong period and special thanks for the heroics of 30 runs in an over of the 3rd ODI against AUS. Thanks to James Faulkner too for making full use of such splendid bowling by Ishant to make the moment memorable for us and we could know about the story of MOHAMMED SHAMI here on

Otherwise we would have to bear another sharma for many years to come after the famous one & only Chetan Sharma.

Posted by Night.angel on (November 10, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

@joe232 exactly, I always wondered why the likes of Vinay kumar, Unadkat, Dinda, Midhun, were selected ahead of other better prospects. These are emaciated bowlers and hence don't have the strength.

Look out for Pankaj Singh. Some of his bowls are really unplayable in flat pitches. Wonder what he would do in pacy and bouncy pitches? But he is perennially ignored. He wont see the limelight.

Even Rishi Dhawan a better allrounder than Irfan pathan, wont get selected. But we will see Unadkat, Dinda, I.sharma, Vinay kumar again in the Indian team. Sad reality

Posted by shivshankarb on (November 10, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

Brilliant Das sir, I would hope that Shami had visited you house after his first test(biggest match of his life !) and thanked your wife! Please convey our respected regards to her! Its not easy to let known stay at home and prepare Briyanies for! Thank you for finding, couple more required for Indian cricket!

Posted by Hummingbird0 on (November 10, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

This shows the lack of insight of the selectors to plan for the future. Shami was not the automatic choice for this series. It was Ishant Sharma. Only because he got smacked by Faulkner people began to realise his inability. Even Selectors got it too long to figure it out.

Shami was always there before our eyes. If he had debut two years ago then the story would have been different in the overseas matches. But what selectors did ?They even tried vinay kumar in perth. He was a big flop. Still they bring on the likes of Unadkat, Midhun, Dinda when everybody knows a bowler operating in Mid 120s would not succeed.

Thats why it is important to support the players like Pankaj Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Warrier, give them the chance. Even Suyal is better than Vinay kumar

Posted by Hummingbird0 on (November 10, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

Great to hear about Shami's background.

But if you want someone to extract bounce even on flat pitches Pankaj Singh is the guy for you.

People support I.sharma is only because he is tall. Even Dhoni always admit about it. But everybody were largely ignorant about the reality that Ishant don't have brain to plan and bowl.

Here comes the replacement for him. Its none other than the Right-arm fast-medium bowler Pankaj Singh. Better prospect.

What say you?

Posted by nayonika on (November 10, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

Thank you Mr.Sumon Chakraborty,Mr.Debabrata Das and his wife. All of you deserve the highest gratitude of the Indian cricket public for spotting,nurturing,feeding to give us a genuine fast bowler. God bless you all along with Md Shami.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

A heart warming story, "Seven years ago, he took the risk of sending his son alone into the unknown. A year later, another man took the risk of bringing home a boy he knew nothing about, except that he bowled fast."

Definitely, "Cricket can do with more such fathers, club owners and, of course, boys who bowl fast."

The IPL owners must be salivating to get their hand on him.

Posted by Karunk on (November 10, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

Congratulations to Shami's parents & mentor Das for helping & bringing him to the international level. The tricky phase for Shami begins now. BCCI should take the initiative of identifying a mentor (any one of the retired players - Rahul, Kumble, Sourav or Sachin) for Shami to guide him in handling international pressure, keep him on the ground so that he lasts for good 10-12 years and does not fade away like many others. Team's bowling coach will take care of technical skills.

Posted by Tahmid_scofield on (November 10, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

best wishes from bangladesh shami...............

Posted by android_user on (November 10, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

What a fantastic story. I hope this guy has a long and successful career. India sure could do with a skillful quick now that zak is no longer around!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

Shami, The new fast bowling sensation. Brilliant bowling in the test match against West indies. It shows the hard work of a cricketer from a small Village to play for INDIAN TEST CRICKET TEAM. Shami has exceptional art of Reverse swing bowling. So ,I hope BCCI will nurture his talent for the long run. Also let us not make huge burden on Shami,by hyping him a lot.

Sure Shami will become the Super star of Indian Cricket very soon.

Congrats to Indian team and especially to the Brilliant Captain Dhoni. My special mention also goes to Rohit Sharma and Ashwin. Finally Shami ............. Continue to rock ..........


Brahadeeswaran Kanesan

Abu Dhabi,UAE

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

How can you not be romantic about sports? #shamistory

Posted by Rahul_78 on (November 10, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

First of all heartiest congratulations to Mentors, Family, Friends and to all the strangers who helped, guided and supported Shami in his time of need. Indian selectors needs to be congratulated too for showing faith in Shami and providing him opportunity to showcase his skills. But now the most delicate phase of Shami's career begins. For every Zaheer and Shreenath we have Munaf, Nehra, Sreesanth, RP singh and many more who had the potential and debuted with the bang but failed into obscurity due to poor fitness, lack of form or simply not able to cope with all the fame, adulation and money that came their way. MSD and other senior guys like Virat and Raina needs to step up and guide the youngsters in the team specially when the likes of Sachin, Rahul, VVS and Kumble have retired. The ethics, culture and values need to be preserved and priorities needs to be set right so that these young talents can achieve satisfying and fulfilling career as Indian cricketers.

Posted by captainpermod on (November 10, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

Very touching story about discovering and polishing the talent. Shami is a lucky guy who found Coach like DAS and father like TOUSIF as so many talented guys never make it and lost thier way.

As far as personal traits of Shami are concerned, he is hard working guy paying attention to his goals. Bowling fast is the key and as long as he bowl fast, he will succeed. Specially with his ability to reverse swing the ball and pitching the ball up. Go Shami Go, further improve your swwinging techniques with the likes of Wasim & Kapil and you will stay in contention for a longer time.

Posted by rashivkd on (November 10, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

I remember the days Ishant played his first series in Aus, and Ponting continuously louded the skill of the young man. He had been bowling 140 consistently, and with the help of height and pace, he struggled one of the greatest in history. But, sadly, as the days goes on, he worked on his bowling and try something new, got it all wrong for him. He even lost his seam position. That is where the likes of Steyn should be the role model for the youngsters. In his long career, he didn't try to do something extravagant, even he didn't try to bring the ball back to right hander, he just tried to get into the perfection of his out swingers. And he almost got the perfection. That is the way to be!! Every body, every action, every release has its own identity, its own way to swing. A decade ago no one would have thought an action like Malinga can swing the ball. Its all against the book of swing. His wrist is not behind the ball, he is not using the middle or index finger to swing.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Hatts Off to people like Das, we salute you Sir...

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

Respect to all people in this Modern Day world who are getting talent of a good bowler such as Shami to get on his Life Track THANK YOU Mr.Das, And the good thing that looks out here is that there are peoplle who are helping talent from NOWHERE to get to EVERYWHERE

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 10, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

It's good news that shami is bowling well ...he shouldn't be one match wonder consistency is the key in cricket ... India lack quality pacers ... Well it's good for India to have guys like shami and bhuvi they need more experience and guidance ... Or they'll fade away as one match wonders....

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

Yet another heart warming story of a boy from humble backgrounds making it big as a fast bowler after Umesh Yadav. The small town boys trickle in a way started with MSD and is now growing. Thanks MSD for inspiring others.

Posted by henchart on (November 10, 2013, 5:34 GMT)

Shami has had one good match against a weak side and media ,as its wont,going overboard .Consistency matters.Better to wait and watch.Barring the great Kapil and to less extent Prabhakar,Srinath and Zaheer the Indians dont have good pacers to show in their history unlike Pakistan.Imran ,Sarfaraz,Wasim ,Waqar ,Akhtar,Gul...the list is longer.But Indians have had better batsmen than their neighbours.

Posted by devil_in_details on (November 10, 2013, 5:33 GMT)

The emergence of Bhuvi, Shami and Umesh has been great news for Indian cricket. Humble background with lots of hard work and sweat finally starting to pay off on the field. As cricket fans we need to savor each of these performances from these boys and enjoy each performance as it comes without already trying to start thinking of their place among greats. The fun is always in the journey rather than the destination. Hopefully with more sweat and toil on the field and careful monitoring of their health off it, these young turks will give us joy for many more years to come. And in that case there would be more material for Siddharth to write more such beautiful articles!

Posted by srikanths on (November 10, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

I just hope Shami keeps this up and not fall by the way side as RP Singh and Munaf Patel or a Ishant who lost it all all after 2008 nothwithstanding the fact that he has been chances galore

Shami , Umesh and Zaheer would be a great combo in SA ( Zaheer of course is may be two years past his best )

Posted by android_user on (November 10, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

it wud b betr if u write his distt name too it is bijnor.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

wonderfully written ! Very interesting too ! For sure you need the help of the external society sometimes in life to give a push in career.

Posted by CricFan78 on (November 10, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

Dear Kiwirocker thanks for showing your chip on shoulder once again.

The article tells the journey of Shami from a small village to national team. No where does it talk about how he is a great fast bowler in making.

You may want to remove you blinkers first before you comment.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (November 10, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

Interesting story - goes to show the hardships young players endure in order to succeed in India! There is more talent in these small towns - Dhoni, a case in point. India need to ensure that these talented players get discovered and given the deserved opportunities to develop. We need to SWIFTLY move right away from giving opportunities only to the rich and sons of famous fathers! Shami has the qualities to become a long term prospect at international level - He can't keep relying on hitting the stumps all the time - needs to develop a good out-swinger too for continued success. He will have to do this fast or international batsmen will work him out quick and Shami could become another 'yesterday's news' - Hope he works well and this does not happen.

Posted by munna_indian on (November 10, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

first of all, its up to shami if he wants to be a pace bowler on the mold of wasim and waqar or if he wants to be a line and length bowler thus reducing pace. with one test match in his kitty, he seems to be a fast bowler who wants to bowl raw pace. in that case, he need not bother about line and length because both of them cannot coexist. because, to bowl extremely fast, there is limited use of the mind when delivering the ball but to bowl correct line and length, one needs to use their brain a little more at the time of delivery and hence pace is compromised. but, we already have line and length bowlers bowling in the 120s and 130s with the likes of bhuvi and ishant. we need variety in the bowling and shami seems to be the ideal candidate to bring that variety into the attack. the invincible aussies were successful because they had varied bowling attack, a mcgrath who maintains line and length at a normal pace, a brett lee who care a damn about line and length but at furious pace.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

Shami has talent and its credit to Sandeep Patil and Roger Binny that they picked him out of nowhere like they did Bhuvaneswar Kumar Its up to Shami now to carry forward and not be swayed by this idolatry comparing him to Dale Steyn after one match Look whats happened to Ishant Sharma

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (November 10, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

Shahbaz Azmi: The comment from you that Muhammad Shami is Dale Steyn is silly and quite insulting towards Dale Steyn. I guess only worse you could do was to call that Shami is Waqar Younis. If Muhammad Shami is Dale Steyn after ONE test match then indeed Sohaib Maqsood is next Inzemam Ul Haq. Actually Sohain Maqsood probably looked more like Inzemam Ul Haq against world's best bowling attach than Shami scoring cheap West Indian wickets! Get real!

Posted by sundoo on (November 10, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

All the accolades are most welcome but the reactions are typically Indian. Hero worshiping. And put him down when he goes wicketless. Many talented bowlers have gone down the hill in no time as everything went to their head. If Akram had said anything good about this boy then there must be talent. He is a rough diamond now. Let all of us make him into a polished diamond by not praising him sky high and pressurising him. Let him increase the pace to 145 km first to compare with Akhtar ,Lee or even Srinath .Lets wish him luck and leave it at that .

Posted by catsalive on (November 10, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

@ KiwiRocker - Cannot agree with you more. Well Said!!!. One tiny little test match and the media is generous enough to pour extra ordinary praise. Shami is good, no doubt abt that, but it is way too early to predict big things. Ishant was dubbed to be a 500 club material, but the way he bowled in the recent series he looked like a street bowler who had no idea about fast bowling. I think time will tell if Shami has what it takes to perform, until then media please let him live.

Posted by Sudhir65 on (November 10, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Where is the huge profit in millions going from BCCI ad revenue and IPL riches, if not towards young players' development? Something to think about.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

While such real-life stories always lets people feel proud and have a soft corner for the sportsperson, one should be careful to not hype it up too much. This is just one match and hopefully Shami does this 50 or 100 matches later. The money will now come and with it change too. Opposition will start to prepare for him and he will slowly lose his edge. Therefore, let us help him by being quiet and not judge him or base too much expectations. India needs another seamer-allrounder. A good left armer...

God-willing lets hope he plays long for India and does well too.

Posted by android_user on (November 10, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

no need to become another wasim akram or waqar or Steyn or anybody! just be shami and work hard and win matches for India! one day somebody wants to become shami!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 3:35 GMT)

Inspiring story!Good of cricinfo to cover this. Will inspire the scores of young boys trying to make it big. And for once, its nice to see a story of a young fast bowler's rise compared to reading about batsmen all the time!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 3:29 GMT)

Now BCCI put him on a good food diet and workout regime and DISCIPLINE... or you will lose another talent that sparked once or a few and faded....

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (November 10, 2013, 3:23 GMT)

First it was boring and now it is getting annoying. Everyday, I am reading these articles on Cricinfo by Indian writers raving about Muhammad Shami. Lets get it right. The guy is a talnted cricketer but he has played in total of one test matches. All this hype shows desperation of India to find a fast bowler in mould of their neighbours. Muhammad Shami had a very good match and he displayed good skill. He obviously has learnt a lot from the ultimate master Wasim Akram. Let the guy play without any pressure and ease into cricket. Same thing was done to irfan Pathan who bowled one yorker in Australia and Indians claimed he was Waqar Younis. Irfan Pathan now a days is no where to be seen. Umesh Yadev was touted as next Shoib Akhtar and now a days can be seen bowling at pace of no more than Kapil Dev. Ishant Sharma...Lets do not even go there Even Bhunveshwar kumar has started to show his limitations as can be seen when balls gets old. West Indies is not SA, England so lets wait and see!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

May be its too early to say..but I can see..He is Indian Dale Steyn..

Posted by android_user on (November 10, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

It's really good that he has found the line length that gets him the wickets, he has still got some work to do, his weapon is not just bowling at 140 k's but it is swinging the ball at that speed which makes him different from other bowlers that india has had in the past.Hope he can keep uo the good work and stay consistent, he has a long and bright career ahead of him. It is his choice whether to accept it or let it slip right through his fingers same as what Ishant Sharma did.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 3:14 GMT)

What a wonderful story. I´ll follow his career with interest. At last India finds the last piece in the jigsaw.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 2:54 GMT)

i pray by God's will that the young man goes on to greater aspirations

Posted by CricketChat on (November 10, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

Good start by Shami. We will have to wait and watch how he continues to develop now that he tasted some success.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 2:49 GMT)

Amazing display of knowledge for the game and self belief which was put ahead of all perturbing shackles of our society...true Indian sense. Salute to Das babu's and Shami's nationalism I hope he continues to fathom unmatched heights...!!

Posted by RG2008 on (November 10, 2013, 2:39 GMT)

Brilliant story, refreshing to see the selflessness of Mr Das in progressing Shami's career above the success of his own club. A stark contrast to the self interest that seems to dominate at the most senior levels of cricket administration in India.

Posted by reb1 on (November 10, 2013, 2:37 GMT)

mmm.. Biryani. Nizam or Aminia?

Posted by android_user on (November 10, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

Shami story reminds me one our hindi film IQBAL.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

Inspiring! BCCI needs to create a better platform & infrastructure to groom small town talents like Shami!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

"He is a very emotional cricketer" .That tells a lot. His (Moh'd Shammi) talent was obvious and he got a break.A debut performance does not say much against a side that backbone...It will be better to judge him on his performance against a side that came prepared to play and not just hype. With the exceptional of Chanderpaul,the W.I. needs to re-invent themselves as to how to play.......Test cricket.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 1:56 GMT)

Shami's story reminds me of the movie IQBAL. Amazing amazing lad. The nation is proud of you.

Posted by Nampally on (November 10, 2013, 1:37 GMT)

This is like a fairy Tale, Sid. What a tale- from an unknown Village Kid to the hero of Kolkata Test. This is the story of "Raw Talent" converted to one of the best Pace bowler India has seen. Self made wonder - no coaching - even deprived of the basics of life during the teen age period. Shami can eat his Biryani for every meal as long as he keeps on taking 9 wkts. He bowled very well in the last 2 ODI's vs. the OZ & followed up with heroics as a debutant in the first test. I hope he remains as humble even amongst his phenomenal success. Bravo Shami! Don't forget, Bowling success got you to the top. Please do not let your bowling success fade away in future Tests for India. If you continue to perform well, you will soon be a millionaire + a great Role model for all Village Cricketers with talent. I do not ever think of Shami's failure - because it will be such an anti climax.Just keep hitting the stumps, which has always been your teen age joy & incentive to play Cricket!

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

Heartiest congratulations to Shami for his excellent performance.We have not seen such a brilliant display of reverse swing by a Indian pace bowler.The story of Shami also very touching. U.P has abundance of very talented cricketers but many of them just fade away as they do not get the chance at the right time.It is the faulty system of selection that deprived deserving players to play for the state team in the Board trophy matches.There is no inter district matches, very few state level tournaments and players do not get the chance to show their caliber.3 days trials being conducted by U P C A for selecting teams in which almost 800 to 1200 boys turn up for the selection at the junior level.It is simply impossible for selectors to pick the best players by watching player's caliber in few balls.The selection should be done on the performance basis not on the basis of nets.We are going to miss many more cricketers if UPCA do not change the method of selection.May god give them vision.

Posted by   on (November 10, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

Amazing, another Mohammed Nizar, or say Amar Singh.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 9, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

Kudos to Mr. Das and Shami's father for unearthing and polishing this diamond . Hope he proves his worth of being a real diamond and keep us showing his sparkle as real diamonds sparkle forever. And Mr. Monga .. You are Shami of writing. Keep hitting the stumps!!!

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 9, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Good story. I think what it shows is that to find a good bowler we need scouting system. Bcci should reward people like das. In India its batsman world , bowling is hard work. Only meat eaters has the stamina , strength , body to endure hard work from fast bowling. There is a reason Rohit sharma got MOM over shami. We tend to over praise batsman and demean bowlers. Also based on the above story , we see shami emotional and moody. He needs to be rewarded with something often to keep his spirits up. Not just biriyani which is more of symbol of transaction to self motivate himself for the extra work. I think shami needs personal foreign bowling coach. May be BCCI should have foreign bowling coach who can instill gym and diet discipline in bowlers. If he stengthen his legs massive way , i can not see why he can't bowl 150kmph. If he just satisfied with what he achieved already then i think he wil get hurt. Nothing matches gym weight lifting. He was robbed of MOM by gavavaskar.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 22:30 GMT)

such a lovely article Sidharth. it's a true treat reading your delicate playful sentences. :)

Posted by TRAM on (November 9, 2013, 22:25 GMT)

Well written. True. From Dr. Zakir Hussain to Dr. Abdul Kalam, from Pataudi's to Mohammad Azaruddin, from Mohammad Nissar, Zaheer Khan to Mohammad Shami, the list is huge. The people of India can be proud to state no other country even comes close to brotherhood as good as this. India repeatedly demonstrates talent & hardwork are the only criteria to get the opportunities & success.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

People like Mr Das might look difficult to find in India but to my knowledge there are many- Be it Cricket or football or other sports- Those Das might not be in same position as Mr Das of Town club - but I know few in Kolkata -to name a few a few like "Girgiti da " of Kasba who spendt his own money for entire clubs he nurtured- being a petty municipality clerk - spending 80 % of his mere income for his boys and reaching their house to take care of their injuries -takes lot of passion for the game and and passion to bring out the best talent for the country- I lost contact but whoever knows this man in Kasba-pls let me me - I know h moved to shonarpur - To me , these are the men are true hero of India -- they should be given President' award or national level awards to salute their passion and love for India - To finsih this letter , i want to salute Mr Das , MR Shammi for their belief in themselves and for each other and love Shammi to talk about his parents in the press

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 22:06 GMT)

Great story. Shami looks a real prospect, and you have to hope he doesn't go the way of the likes of Ishant and others. India desperately needs fast bowlers, and Shami, Yadav and Aaron could be the real deal. We'll know more when they play outside India, and against a better batting line up than West Indies' current one (I do know Yadav did well against Australia).

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

Inspiring story..reminds of the movie Iqbal. However Shami should not get carried away. In the larger interest of India ..Shami must consider the success in the first step and not as the end to the struggle. He should not go the Ishant way.. India have produced too many bowlers who have burst into scene and then disappeared. The real tesy would be to deliver such performance consistently.

Posted by JustIPL on (November 9, 2013, 21:41 GMT)

Amazing story took me to tears. Hopefully, he will go farther than Ishant, Munaf and pathan, and many others. Specially, if he wins it for india in SA then it will no doubt about his abilities.

Posted by Jama on (November 9, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

Munaf Patel > RP Singh> Sreesanth> Ishant> and now we will see SHAMI's talent fade away in a couple of months as he would probably be bowling at 125KM/h. Indian wickets dont support fast bowlers at all. India should play 10 batsman and 1 spinnner in Ashwin as their wickets are flat as artificial wickets. i am sure Rohit, Raina, kohli, yuvi, Ashwin and Jadeja can make up 50 overs and we have the luxury to see 10 batsman playing and an opportunity to see 350+ score almost every game.

Its sad to see batsmen dominated cricket and i am sure no one would want to be a bowler in the future.

Posted by Naresh28 on (November 9, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

Another bowler to watch out for will be Andhra's P. Vijaykumar a hard working bowler.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 21:05 GMT)

impressing and motivation story,all the best sami

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 9, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

Pretty motivational piece of reading..kudos to the writer..

Posted by Harmony111 on (November 9, 2013, 20:54 GMT)

When I read that Mr. Debbrata Das said that Shami will live with him, for some reason I suddenly recalled how IG Rajan had asked Dhruva to live with him. I am sure most Indian readers here will be able to recognize these two names.

It is quite rare for a young Indian fast bowler to show so much promise in his very first test match. In fact, the control he showed at Kolkata & the skill he displayed of reverse swing was quite phenomenal. It also shows he has a very sharp brain. I hope that Lambu guy with 5 kilometer long hairs learns something (in fact many things) by watching Shami.

I also hope that Shami stays on the right track & does not become another Irfan Pathan or Munaf Patel.

Btw, I will also request all Ind fans not to hype Shami up. It helps no one. Give him some time to grow. He will fail at some point & we need to be patient at that time.

If Shami shows consistency for his talent then we 'might' have a solid attack of Zak, Shami, Bhuvi, Yadav for SA.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 9, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

Leave him alone. He has just played a game. Way to go. Don make him fly and then crash him down.

Posted by sudhir98 on (November 9, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

Fantastic story! But can we all take a breath and take it down a couple notches? Let the poor guy develop, breath and prosper. Don't pile on any more pressure. Already carrying hopes of a billion people to South Africa.

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 9, 2013, 19:55 GMT)

The stories of Shami and Umesh Yadav too who has a similar story shows if there is talent people can come up irrespective of their background, which is a very good sign for Indian cricket.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 19:43 GMT)

Thanks Mr. Monga for such a wonderful and inspiring article. I think the story of Shami is very similar to that of the protagonist Iqbal in the movie Iqbal, but the role of mother in the movie is replaced here by the role of the father. equally laudable is Mr. Das for giving him opportunity and mora,l as well as financial support to achieve his goal. and saute to his perseverance and hard work. and I hope he serve India for a longer periodof time. Kudos to you Shami for making others believe in Indian capability to produce genuine pace bowlers

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

Abdul Monayem who played for Bengal U-19 and was in India U-19 squad with SOurav, Sachin JAdgea Kumble and was a tearaway fast bowler has mentored Shami a lot. Abdul bhai is a grass root level coach now and Badruddin Shamis coach has acknowledged the contribtuion of Abdul Da in Shamis development

Posted by Kamal22 on (November 9, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

I only hope he does not end up on some silly dance reality show with a bollywood girlfriend in a few years time. This seems to be a sad template: young small town kid makes it big in cricket. Fame, money and some bollywood actresses chase him down and the cricketer is lost somewhere.

Posted by Longmemory on (November 9, 2013, 19:27 GMT)

In its own way the story epitomizes the arbitrariness that is Indian cricket. Had it not been for a selfless benefactor like Das and the indomitable will of the cricketer, Shami would have been lost in the wilderness. How many millions of Shamis were lost to get this one pearl? Guess we'll never know.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

wow what enrichment mr.Das ty Shami is great

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

wow!! first of all congrats to Sid mongia who s churning out some amazing write ups lately... and then a very inspiring story...the last few lines were so apt! this tale is yet another example of how unrelenting hard work and determination can take you to the top! very similar to the story of the film named 'iqbal' which had nasaruddin shah playing a similar role to das here.... keep it u shami! India has longed for a quality pacer who can run through batting line ups and it would be great if shami can solve that... in fact I would say better than the advent of kohli and rohit sharma....also we need to thank wasim akram who had recognized shami in the KKR squad during the 2009 season if I'm right... I remember an article where he had rated this young man very highly and I started following his progress since then ! very happy to see this performance on debut from him! all the best shami!

Posted by yogi.s on (November 9, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

Wow!! It is a great success story already. He has a lot of promise and I hope he will do bigger things and in a few years be among the top 5 bowlers playing cricket. Despite all the politics, corruption and nepotism that runs rampant in our cricket administration it truly feels nice to know that such a story is still possible. It is not just Shami, there are a few others too in this present team who have similar stories. So, credit to the selectors at various levels for picking the right talent. Sidharth Monga, always a pleasure to read your articles.

Posted by gudolerhum on (November 9, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

I was impressed by Shami's bowling in the One day matches. Unfortunately due to TV problems I did not get to see him in the Test against the WI but I am looking forward to watching his career develop. This account of his beginnings indicate the size of his heart and his determination. Biriyani after every match, Shami - GO for it!

Posted by Ali_Eorse on (November 9, 2013, 19:05 GMT)

Shami is a one-trick pony. Amla, Smith, AB, etc. will demolish him. Also, Shami will not avoid being another Zaheer, Sreesanth, and Ishant. These bowlers love to party, PR, etc. Cricket is not their focus. So, Shami will also be like that. In India, there is no success. Shami should leave India and join NZ, be like another Imran Nasir. In India, you will be distracted. No focus. The reason Indian bowlers are the worst: they are easily distracted and are not serious about work ethic. Example: Harbhajan, Ishant. Enough said.

Posted by anupkeni on (November 9, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

Let's hope that Mohammed Shami does not fade away like Munaf Patel or R P Singh, who are the lost boys of Indian cricket team today.

Posted by Jaguar_xyz on (November 9, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

Good Job Shami. The dreams of Ishant Sharma bowling in TEST cricket may rest in peace now and that's a big relief..!!

Posted by sharidas on (November 9, 2013, 18:55 GMT)

Very happy for young Shami. Let's just hope we do not destroy him with adulation.

Posted by DEDKIK on (November 9, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

Cricinfo's profile lists his birthplace as Jonagar in Bengal. Is this really correct? And if the birthplace is in a small place the district or nearest town should also be given in Cricinfo's player profile.

Posted by Fan1969 on (November 9, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

Shami is NOT a STORY. It is REALITY and it is upto us to see how far he goes. All Indians FANS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY. Can we make Shami into a Wasim / McGrath / Walsh / Marshall.

Fans must support.

BCCI must give $2m in 2014 so that Shami does NOT PLAY Home ODIs and IPL on flat wickets.

Shami can win INDIA OVERSEAS TESTS. Can he run through right hand batsmen like lAmla, Kallis, AB De and du Plessis? We can have one more TEST Victory in SA.

We have a few good batsmen but maybe just match winner on grassy wickets. We must celebrate and ensure his success.

If Shami plays Home ODIs, T20s and IPL he will become defensive bowler with yorkers, low full tosses -outside off stump. Malinga cannot and has not been able to win SL many TESTS.

We want a Waqar / Imran / Marshall / Steyn to help win a few OVERSEAS TESTS and dominate world cricket like WI in 80s and Australia in 90s, 2000s.

BCCI are you listening? $2m to SHAMI in 2014 for NOT playing IPL, T20 and Home ODIs.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 18:34 GMT)

I almost had tears in my eyes after reading this article.People from such background are need of the hour.They are small cities.They are not too much into glamour and biz worlds.Just like how MSD isJust like Pakistani players Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan,they are from very humble and poor economical backgrounds,yet there is the valour and austerity to show the world what they can do.I only could wish that Mohammad Shami becomes one of the finest Fast Bowlers of India in coming years.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Debabrata Das - what a class act you are. Took in the guy, molded him, and when he overgrew what your club could provide, you actively encouraged him to go to Mohun Bagan, so that he can grow. Would have been easy to guilt him into staying ... now when Shami inevitably gets his million-dollar IPL contract, I hope he remembers this and pays the good deeds forward to other budding youngsters.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Well done Shami. Hope you go on taking wickets and do not fade away like others of your kind.

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

very nice story thnx to cricinfo for sharing this

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

Best wishers from Sri Lanka.great performance all people make cricket alive great...

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

Thank you Das for helping in digging out this gem. you will be remembered for as long as Shami gets the chance to bowl and get Wickets.

Posted by hilqur on (November 9, 2013, 18:09 GMT)

A must read and very inspiring story indeed.

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

Stay focused .... stay hungry. ..

Posted by sportofpain on (November 9, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

Loved the story - 'phaad de yaar' - that is the language we also use while playing cricket so the story resonates deeply. As skipper I used to throw down the gauntlet in similar fashion and I know of one bowler who would get fired up by it and invariably get me the wickets. MDR if you are reading this I'm talking about you.

Good luck to Shami - it thrilled me to bits to see an Indian fast bowler rattling the stumps. He reminds me so much of Waqar. Stay healthy, stay hungry - and you will do the country proud.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

Very proud of our Bangali boy! Good luck Shami from a Bangladeshi fan.

Posted by Amit_M30 on (November 9, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

boys who bowl fast - seriously. loved him play the other day. in seaming deliveriesw tearing through the gates of batsmen. he has started off well and I hope he doesn't go the same line as munaf, irfan or ishant. Though he seems to be a bigger promise from the looks of it. Prove me right boy !

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

Nice article, well written. Made for some interesting reading. Really the story of Shami has been set up very nicely now, but this is just the beginning. Wish him plenty of success.

Posted by glen1 on (November 9, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

ESPN please make a TV documentary (not a silly Bollywood movie); document for posterity the struggles and success of this young man. Go Shami Go! The future of Cricket in India rests with talented, and ambitious young men from the hinterlands; Shami, Yadav, Dhoni.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

inspiring. best wishes man!

Posted by Cricdew on (November 9, 2013, 17:33 GMT) need ...kohli alone doing that to whole SL team leave alone your batsmen...@Blade-Runner what an irony Club team been keep thrashing so called great every condition lol

Posted by Amit_M30 on (November 9, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

boys who bowl fast - seriously. loved him play the other day. in seaming deliveriesw tearing through the gates of batsmen. he has started off well and I hope he doesn't go the same line as munaf, irfan or ishant. Though he seems to be a bigger promise from the looks of it. Prove me right boy !

Posted by TSJ07 on (November 9, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

@Posted by Blade-Runner on (November 9, 2013, 16:49 GMT) An inspiring story. He started playing for a small club team n now playing for a bigger club team, team India. G'luck to him !!

Shame on you blade-runner.At least you ccould have your silly comment in this very emotional,inspiring and sensitive article. This just shows what kind of genes you are carrying.May be not your fault...I pitty you.

Plz publish cricinfo so that we can show this man's true colors...oops I mean true genes to fellow cricinfo readers.

Posted by CricketFanIndUS on (November 9, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

An interesting read, thank you.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

Hats off Debabrata Das for encouraging and supporting a true talent. You are true cricket fan. It was a great bowling effort by Shami.....

Posted by Cricket24 on (November 9, 2013, 17:21 GMT)

Great emotional story. Great read. Hope he doesn't go down the road of Ishant because India has a great bowler in him and also in buhneshwar and yadav. Tell the coaches not to mess with him too much. Anyone fast bowler that can get 9 wickets on an indian pitch is good in my books.

Posted by mvcric on (November 9, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

This is an amazing story. Every Indian cricket fan would desperately hope that Shami doesn't go the way of an RP Singh, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, all of whom promised much but have faded away.

In my opinion, the key to his continued success will lie in him following his trusted methods of training - running, running, more running and bowling lots of overs - which, as Kapil Dev has repeatedly pointed out, is the way for fast bowlers to train.

Every promising Indian bowler who went the gymming way, has lost track.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for the sake of Indian cricket.

Posted by TSJ07 on (November 9, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

Till we still have the people like Das we will continue to produce some exceptional talent in various fields.And this can only happen in a secular country like India.I'm so proud to be an Indian.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

Shami has really made the Kolkata Maidan proud. I have watched Shami at the Jadavpur College Grounds playing for Bengal in a day when he took six wickets. And as luck would have it, I was there in Eden yesterday, when he tooks five wickets for India. Last year also in Ranji, had Wridhiman not dropped a sitter, Shami would have won Bengal the match against M.P and Bengal would have played semi finals. Thanks also to Debabrata Das for guiding Sami and also to Shukla Pal for feeding Sachin with home made food during all these years of his playing at Kolkata. This is our hospitality for all Indians, come to our City of Joy

Posted by TamilIndian on (November 9, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

Doesn't make sense not to give man of the match to Shami. He should have atleast shared the MOM with Rohit Sharma. But I think there are many more 5 wicket and 10 wicket hauls waiting!

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

A great story and well told!

Posted by AlbieIndia on (November 9, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

Truly an inspiring story, and we need to thank the selectors, the team management and the captain M S Dhoni in particular for giving Shami the opportunity when in perfectly good form and shape.Shami had also been very good against the Aussies in the one day series rattling them with pace and late movement. The decision to hand Rohit the debut was also a very positive stride towards remaking the Indian test team after the retirement of the Little Master which he grabbed by both hands.But we need to examine both debutants in the coming matches. So we can say for the time being that the future of indian test cricket is in safe hands.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

Scintillating stuff, It shows even India can produce quality fast bowlers from the backwaters..what is needed is just bit of proper search n providing ample facility to the fast young Guns. We Hope Shami proves to be of d long Run

Posted by sudiptaasi on (November 9, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

A superb article Sidharth. I think all your articles are little gems. But this one is a diamond among them. Really resonated with the cricket lover in me. Regarding the story; yes indeed, we need more of such simple minded but determined cricketers, such faithful and caring father but most importantly such administrators who will bring an unknown cricketer home, just because he bowls fast, especially in today's world.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (November 9, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

Great story! Goes on to show how important it is to have a good support structure to make it big. There are almost always so many people like Das behind every big success story.

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

Truly Inspiring, All the best Shami but hope u will not do much damage to Sri Lankan Batsmen

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

Shami is very talented, it was sad to see him dropped after Pakistan ODIs. I hope Dhoni shows more confidence in young talent rather than repeatedly failing Ishant, Vinay Kumar.

Posted by pauliangenius on (November 9, 2013, 16:49 GMT)

A very touching story of a bowler who in my humble opinion will serve India for a long time and serve well !!!!

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

#respect For all those people who supported this young gun of India. And as a big fan of genuine pace ... I wish Shami a very healthy and successful future. just one request Please do not turn into a military medium bolwer... keep working on your pace. #GoodLuck

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Kudos to Mr. Monga for such an excellent write up. I am a big fan of your articles. In every article that you write I see one thing that is compassion for the fellow human being - I noticed it during the Asia cup when your articles about the passions of Bangladeshi cricket fans were written in a very emotional way. Keep up the good work. Regarding this article - indeed stars like Shami can shine due to the sacrifice and magnanimity of people Like Mr. Tousif and Mr. Das.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

Wow, simply wow!!

I cannot believe people like Mr Debabrata Das still grace this country.

Hats off to you mister.

Posted by android_user on (November 9, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

what a moving story...gifted hard working horse of Indian cricket. I hope he will be protected from the influence of bad side of Indian cricket-superstar-ipl etc...

Posted by pull_shot on (November 9, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

Really happy for him. This article implies there is more than skill to get recognition in india that z luck, We should thank Dalhousie with out him there z no shami

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

I hope he sustains his pace and fitness. With the reverse swing in his possession he can become a lethal bowler. But in India we see most of the bowlers fading away. Hope it is not true for him.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2013, 16:31 GMT)

What an inspirational story. I have long had faith that India does in fact possess good fast bowlers such as Shami, hopefully his story will inspire other young fast bowlers to push on to play for India. The days of India not having world class pace bowlers are coming to an end, we just have to believe.

Posted by cric_roch on (November 9, 2013, 16:27 GMT)

Wonderful story...Shami is promising but too early hail him as the one of the best. Everybody has there on stories..feel like this is one of them, rather interesting one. Nevertheless best wishes for Shami , seriously all indians want a good fast bowler from india , pls dont reduce your speed for prolonged career as other did

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