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I miss her a lot - Mohammed Shami gets emotional


Indian pacer Mohammed Shami who will turn up for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020, starting from September 19 in UAE turned emotional while speaking about his daughter Aira, who stays with his estranged wife Hasin Jahan. Shami said he misses his daughter a lot, whom he hasn’t met for some time due to the lockdown. “I could not meet her during the lockdown. She is growing up fast. I miss her a lot,” Shami said.

Shami was training at his farmhouse during the lockdown and after a practice match on Thursday, he feels everyone is regaining their rhythm. “It’s been a long time since we played cricket. Everyone is happy like kids in a candy store after getting back to the sport they love the most. We had a practice match on Thursday, I didn’t face any issues. Everyone is getting back to the rhythm. I didn’t feel much difference (as I was bowling at my farmhouse),” Shami added.

Shami who had been rather subdued between 2013 and 2018 IPL, had an exceptional season in 2019, picking up 19 wickets at an average of 24.68. Shami has a total of 40 wickets in IPL — the most in the current KXIP squad. Shami further remembered the lockdown months, serving the poor migrants near his house in Sahaspur, Uttar Pradesh by setting up food distribution centres with the help of his friend Umesh. “For me, it never felt like a lockdown; it just flew away. We were busy since morning arranging food, running six kitchens and in the evening I was back at practice. I am really thankful to the administration and people who helped us,” he said.

The right-arm seamer admitted that he will miss playing in front of big crowds but also added that it is the responsibility of cricketers like him to bring the smiles back in these tough times. “It feels great when people cheer us from the stadium, but in the current scenario when that is not possible, it’s our responsibility to cheer them up, people who are battling a difficult time. We can at least do that to our fans. For one season, we can play without the crowd, I don’t think there would be an issue,” Shami added.

Shami feels unlike in India where they have to fly all over the country for away matches, the IPL in UAE would be less hectic this time. “Yes, there’re back to back matches, training, travelling that’s a bit of headache. But it’s a short format, short matches, physically there should not be any workload issue. This time, there won’t be much travelling. You will have to travel just about two hours by bus (when there is a match in Abu Dhabi).”

He added, “I always try to stand up to the role and give my 100 per cent. I will bowl as per the situation depends... “Obviously being the strike bowler, it’s important to take the key wickets it gives a big relief to the team,” the seasoned pro, with 49 Tests, 77 ODIs and 11 T20Is under his belt.”

The IPL is the right kind of tournament that allows players to get into the groove nicely, an absolute must before they hit the Australian shores for two and half months, feels Mohammed Shami. The Australiabound India players will fly directly after the IPL concludes on November 10 for the much-anticipated tour which is likely to begin with a T20 series followed by four Tests and ODIs. “It would be great that the Australiabound players are playing IPL. It will set the body and momentum perfectly by then,” the Kings XI pace spearhead said. “I feel it’s better that we are playing IPL before a big series. Apart from IPL, everyone is also focused on that tour (Down Under). There is a lot of talk about that series. We will have a good contest,” he added.


Sports News By

Srinivasan


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