Shoaib Bashir’s Selection in England Test Squad a “Special” Moment
Shoaib Bashir was overwhelmed when he received the call informing him of his selection for England men’s Test series against India. The 20-year-old Somerset offspinner was a surprise inclusion in the 16-man squad just six months after making his professional debut. His selection came after just six first-class matches, all for Somerset, with 10 wickets at an average of 67.
Bashir showcased his talent on a Lions training camp in the UAE, impressing the selectors with his performance on surfaces designed to replicate the conditions in India. His standout performance of 6 for 42 in a two-innings match against Afghanistan A caught the eye of Test coach Brendon McCullum and managing director Rob Key.
McCullum delivered the good news to Bashir, who was emotional upon hearing of his selection. “When I got the call, I let my emotions fall out,” Bashir said in an interview. “I was very numb inside – I cried. It’s just so special and I’m so grateful and thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given.”
Bashir’s journey to international recognition has not been easy, having been part of the Surrey pathway before being released and later stabilizing himself at Berkshire. He made his first-class debut against Essex this summer, catching the selectors’ attention with his high release-point and ability to drive the ball into the surface without compromising on turn or flight.
Reflecting on his journey, Bashir encouraged young cricketers to work hard and stay dedicated to their goals, emphasizing that hard work pays off in the end.