- I’m still the same Dahani when it comes to my attitude, the player says.
- Pacer says he will surprise hitters with his new strategy in PSL 7.
- Dahani calls the meeting with former India captain MS Dhoni a “very special moment”.
KARACHI: Shahnawaz Dahani was a lesser-known name exactly a year ago when he struggled to impress managers with his performances in the national team and had yet to play on the country’s biggest cricketing stage – Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Then came the dream moment when Dahani, wearing the Multan shirt, went to impress everyone with his unparalleled performance and energy on the pitch in PSL season 6. Shortly after, he was chosen by the selectors of the Pakistani team.
Since then, a lot has changed for Dahani. But the guy himself is unchanged. Larkana’s boy is still the same – smiling, humble, energetic and cheerful.
In an exclusive interview with Geo News, ahead of PSL 7, Dahani talked about his cricket journey last year, his plans and some interesting stories of new friends he made.
I’m still the same Dahani
Dahani said a lot has changed for him in the past year as now he is a much improved bowler and has learned a lot after coming to the dressing room from Pakistan. But one thing that hasn’t changed for him is his humility.
“I am still the same Dahani in my attitude and I will always remain the same as I was when I came from the village, it is natural for me and it will always remain with me,” he said. declared. added.
“I am grateful to all the fans and the people of Pakistan who have sent their unconditional love and support to me since I appeared on mainstream cricket,” Dhani said.
He explained how he still spends time with his childhood friends and the experience makes him feel nostalgic.
“The memories of playing barefoot in the village, jumping in the pool to find the ball and picking up guavas from the farms, those are the memories that will always stay with me,” he said. “Every time I return to the village, I hang out with my friends to reminisce.”
He went on to say that this time his friends came to see him during PSL.
Dahani said his connection with PSL and the Pakistan team taught him a lot, especially in terms of improving his bowling skills.
Lenses for PSL 7
Shahnawaz Dahani was declared the best bowler in PSL 6 when he won 20 wickets – the most of any bowler – during the season and helped Multan Sultans win the title for the first time.
This year, he pledges to show the same class and says: “I’m excited about PSL 7, the closer it gets, the more my excitement increases.
“I can’t wait to be on the pitch again. I am preparing for the event and even with the isolation in the hall I have been training to stay in good shape,” he added.
The pacer said he aims to become the best bowler again.
“Now I am planning to take over 25 wickets to break Hasan Ali’s record of taking the most wickets in any PSL season,” he enthused. “My main objective is to help Multan Sultans win the trophy again.”
The fast bowler added that he was aware that the hitters are now familiar with the conditions available in Pakistan and know how to play, so he worked on that and “would surprise the hitters with his new strategy”.
“There’s a strategy on how to play against locals and how to play against foreign hitters, and I worked on everything,” Dahani said.
The fast bowler, who was praised for his celebration last year, said while he would repeat the old signature style, there was also something new.
“You will see my new celebratory style when I take my first wicket in this edition of PSL and the fans will appreciate that,” added the pacer.
The secret of Imran Tahir and Carlos Brathwaite ‘bhai’
Dahani said he became very good friends with Carlos Brathwaite last year, and the West Indian cricketer is nothing short of a big brother to him.
“Even at the end of PSL Carlos stayed in touch with me and when I was in the West Indies he called me and looked after me, he is a gem and I will surely miss him in the dressing room of Multan this season,” he said.
There are also other cricketers, like Imran Tahir, Rile Rossouw and Blessing Muzarabani who Dahani considers his mentors.
“I spend memorable moments with all of them, especially with Imran Tahir, who is also like a brother to me and also a cheerful character like me,” he added.
Dahani recalled how Tahir surprised him by being fluent in the Sindhi language and then told him that he belonged to a place near Dahani’s hometown.
“When he (Imran Tahir) came to me and started talking to me in Sindhi, I was shocked and surprised, then he told me that his roots were in Sukkur and later his family moved to Lahore then in South Africa,” Fast Bowler said of the South African cricketer.
The title of Minister of Foreign Affairs
The 23-year-old bowler has been selected as a traveling reserve by Pakistan coaches for the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai; the fast pitcher didn’t play a game or throw a single delivery, but still won many hearts with his off-court activities.
His photos of meetings with players from different teams went viral on social media and fans started calling him the ‘foreign minister’ of the Pakistan cricket team during the World Cup.
While fans were eager to see him at the World Cup, Dahani said he was even happy to be in the dressing room.
“It was a big thing for me, to be in the dressing room of the Pakistan team during a World Cup because it was a great moment for me and it allowed me to learn a lot of things and to meet many players from all over the world,” he said.
“I also worked with the bowling consultant on the nets which helped me improve my skills,” he said.
Dahani said he also appreciated the title of foreign minister given to him by a fan during the World Cup.
“I can’t thank my fans enough for all the love they’ve shown; I’ll try never to disappoint them with any of my actions,” he promised.
Dahani said what makes him prouder is that he has become a role model and hope for cricketers in rural Sindh.
“I will tell you of an incident; a few days ago a family came to meet me and brought me a cake. There was a young child with them, a few days ago the same child was selected for U-13 and he was chanting ‘main Shahnawaz dahani ban gayya’ after being selected,” he said.
He expressed his joy and said it made him feel so good that the kid is a batsman, but he finds Shahnawaz Dahani – a bowler, as a role model.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said.
Meeting with the former Indian captain Dhoni
Dahani said he was delighted to meet some of the best players from around the world and called the meeting with former India captain MS Dhoni a “very special moment”.
“We used to watch Dhoni on TV or hear about him on the village radio. So seeing him standing in front of me was a big moment for me. At first I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say but then I gained confidence and spoke to her,” Dahani recalls.
He said: “I asked him how he managed to be so fit at this stage, to which he replied that you have to do everything to survive in this sport.”
“Then Dhoni asked me if I was a player member on which I informed him that I was one of the reserves.”
Dahani further said former India captain Dhoni has boosted his confidence by saying he shouldn’t feel disappointed if he remains a reserve in the World Cup and instead feels he is always among the few best, that’s why he was there and one day he would bowl like Virat Kohli.