New Zealand's first Muslim cricketer Ajaz Patel's daily schedule is busier than most of his teammates

Patel has taken 187 wickets in 44 first-class games at an average of 30.28 and has registered 16 five-wicket hauls.

Ajaz Patel
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Ajaz Patel. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shubham Ghosh
SHUBHAM GHOSH

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Ajaz Patel, the 29-year-old India-born New Zealander who recently got his first call for national duty, is a deeply religious man who believes his habit of offering early prayers to the Almighty has paid off. Patel has finished as the highest wicket-taker in New Zealand’s Plunkett Shield in the last three seasons and has been included in the Test squad bound for the UAE to play Pakistan in a three-game series this December.

Born in Mumbai, Patel is believed to be the first Muslim to represent the Black Caps in international cricket and the absence of Mitchell Santner could see him getting a Test berth in the series. Todd Astle and Ish Sodhi are the other two spinners in the Kiwi squad though Patel is the only finger spinner.

Patel’s discipline

Speaking about Patel’s religious discipline, the cricketer sets his alarm for 6 am prayer every day and he offers his prayers five times a day without fail. He also visits the mosque once a week and fasts for an entire month during Ramadan said a report in New Zealand-based news website Stuff. The cricketer also prays in between innings and drinks water after dark though these things have never caused any disruption to his career.

“Sometimes it can be a little bit tough… You don’t really want to disturb your room-mates or disturb their routine, but overall everyone has been really accommodating and understanding,” Patel was quoted as saying by Stuff.
A teetotaller, Patel is content with soft drinks and he feels they do wonder for him.

“Everyone is really respectful of what everyone believes in. I think in modern times people are a lot more understanding and accommodating to different people’s beliefs and different people’s faiths,” the man said, reaffirming his gratitude to his friends and colleagues.

Fasting is more of a psychological challenge for the bowler than a physical one as he has to follow dietary regulations as a commitment to his cricketing career but his strong conviction helps Patel to cope with the challenge which has not hurt his on-field show.

Patel has taken 187 wickets in 44 first-class games at an average of 30.28 and has registered 16 five-wicket hauls.

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