Gloucestershire sign Pakistan international Shah
Gloucestershire Cricket is delighted to announce the signing of Pakistan pace bowler Naseem Shah.
The 18-year-old rising star of the international game will be available to play in all formats of cricket for The Shire for the first few months of the 2022 season, up until the end of the Club's participation in the T20 Vitality Blast tournament group stages. If Naseem, however, is called up for international duty from June onwards, he will be released back to Pakistan for participation with his national team.
As an exciting talent, Shah has already played in nine Test matches for Pakistan since making his debut against Australia in 2019, aged 16, in a match that saw him claim the wicket of David Warner. Just a month after making his debut, Shah became the second youngest player in history to take a five-wicket haul in a single innings, with 5/31 against Sri Lanka.
In summer 2020 Shah was then included in Pakistan’s squad for their tour of England. Featuring in the first Test match at Old Trafford, which England won by three wickets, Shah finished on 1/44 with a bowling economy of 2.75 in the first innings, taking the wicket of Ollie Pope in the process, before he dismissed England captain Joe Root in the second innings. In the third Test match in Southampton, a terrific delivery from Shah had Root caught behind by Mohammad Rizwan.
Shah’s last Test appearance for Pakistan was against New Zealand, in January 2021, and he also featured heavily for Pakistan A during the team’s tour of Sri Lanka in October and November last year. The right-arm fast bowler played in two Tests and an ODI against Sri Lanka A and finished the tour with standout figures of 5/53, 4/28 and 2/26 from the three fixtures.
Speaking of his delight at signing for Glos, Naseem Shah said: “I’m extremely happy to be joining Gloucestershire and can’t wait to experience playing in English cricket for the first time. I’m excited for what we can achieve as a team next season and will use all my skills to help Gloucestershire challenge for silverware across all formats.”
Shah is the fifth player to sign for The Shire since the end of the 2021 season and he will link up with the playing squad, including fellow new additions Marcus Harris, Ajeet Singh Dale, Paul van Meekeren and Zafar Gohar for pre-season training.
Most recently Shah took part in two tournaments in Pakistan with Southern Punjab; the National T20 Cup competition in October and November as well as the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in December. He has also been selected for the Pakistan Test squad for a three-match series against Australia in March.
Steve Snell, Performance Director at Gloucestershire Cricket, said: “Naseem Shah is a fantastic talent and we’re thrilled that he’s decided to come and join us for next season. Naseem will bring further depth to our pace bowling department and will provide exciting competition for places in our seam bowling ranks. I have heard fantastic things about Naseem’s attitude and his willingness to stand up in the tough moments in games. I’ve got no doubt that Naseem, with the quality he has, will give us a great chance of achieving success.”
Will Brown, Gloucestershire Cricket Chief Executive, added: “What a way to start 2022; Naseem is an incredibly exciting player to watch and we can’t wait for fans to get a first glimpse of him in action in Bristol at the start of the season.
“It’s a real coup for the Club to secure Naseem and we have every confidence that our talented group of players will be able to compete with the very best in Division One of the County Championship.”