India’s new find in the fast bowling department, Shami Ahmed received a hero’s welcome when he returned home in Uttar Pradesh after making an impressive start to his international career.
According to Shamik Chakrabarty’s report in The Indian Express, thousands throng to welcome Shami in Amroha district as the fast bowler played a key role in India’s win over Pakistan in the third One-Day International (ODI) at Kolkata with his nagging line and length that yielded four maiden overs and also a wicket in the death overs.
Shami’s father Tousif is ecstatic and also overwhelmed by the adulation his son has been receiving since arrival. “I have never seen such a big reception in my life. Close to 30,000 people were present to greet him (Shami). Fans came from Morabadad, 21 km from our village. Even now, as I speak to you, there are still about 1,000 people in my home. But I am loving it. I am overwhelmed,” he was quoted by the newspaper.
There is more to why Tousif is today proud that his son’s achievement. In 2003, Shami was advised by his coach to train in Kolkata. Tousif granted permission on one condition that one day Shami plays for India.
He said, “I told Shami that he would be granted permission on one condition—that one day he had to play for India. He promised me and has now fulfilled my ambition. Words can’t describe my feelings when I saw him on TV yesterday.”
How did Tousif feel watching his son play in a tense match against the arch-rivals?
“Indeed, I wanted it that way and yesterday it was the biggest moment of my life,” said Tousif. “We didn’t miss the action for a moment. And the way he bowled, he made us proud.”
The best reception for Shami was in store, perhaps, from his mother, Anjum. She was quoted by the newspaper as saying, “Today’s biryani will have a special taste."
First Published: January 8, 2013, 9:34 am