• From Lahore to New Zealand, Muhammad Zaid reminisces his journey for Pakistan in the U19 World Cup

    Belonging to a family that has 13 children, they’ve had their own share of financial struggles

    Muhammad Zaid
    Muhammad Zaid. (Photo Source: Twitter)

    Hailing from Lahore, Muhammad Zaid is another success story for Pakistan. The excitement in his voice is visible as he manages to seal a spot in Pakistan’s U19 World Cup squad. It will surely be a big challenge for Zaid to prove his potential at the big stage.

    However, the youngster hasn’t faced fewer challenges in his journey and has gone through a lot of hardships to be where he is today. In a family that has 13 children, they’ve had their own share of financial struggles. His father has a tea shop set up 20 years ago at Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore.

    My family believed I had a future only once I got into regional cricket

    Like every other parent, even Zaid’s father wanted him to focus on studying. It was only after he got into regional cricket that they instilled faith in him to make it through. He further gave a description of his passion for cricket and how he would play cricket all day.

    “My father thought I would play for two years and then come back automatically and start focusing on studies. But when I started scoring and got into regional cricket, that is when they believed I had a future. They knew I would be adamant. Till it was time to sleep, I was either playing tape-ball cricket in my colony, or at the nets in the evening. So they knew I had the hunger to play,” Zaid said.

    Takes inspiration from Malik

    His inspiration is all-rounder Shoaib Malik. He further narrated that gaming wasn’t his thing. He would rather spend his time watching AB de Villiers unorthodox shots on YouTube. He recounted an incident where his friends compared one of his flicks to that of Rohit Sharma.

    “PlayStation is not my thing. I watch a lot of cricket. I watch videos of how AB de Villiers plays those scoops and ramp shots, and I try and imitate them in front of the mirror. The other day in Australia, while we were playing the one-day series, I tried to get down on one knee and flick. My team-mates later told me: “Bas kar. Rohit Sharma nahi hai tu. Uski record thodna hai kya?” (Stop it. You are not Rohit Sharma. You want to break his record or what?)” as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

    Reminiscing the memories of the World XI tour to Pakistan, Zaid mentions that it was a stupendous feeling. He went on to watch every game. The crowd, the top players and the atmosphere led him into thinking if he could achieve the same some day.

    “I hadn’t seen any cricket in the stadiums, so to see top players in the world live was an amazing feeling. I was all the more motivated to score runs and thought to myself how I’d feel if I score runs in front of such crowds one day.”

    Zaid is known to be a prankster amongst his teammates. The opener also yearns to get better with his English speaking skills. It would be interesting to see what the youngster has got to offer for the Pakistani U19 unit.

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