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Elder brother Assad's sacrifice a reason behind Shahbaz Nadeem's Test debut

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20th October, 2019 12:45 IST
Shahbaz Nadeem. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shahbaz Nadeem has never been in the selectors’ scheme of things as far as selection in Team India is concerned. But the doors opened for him in the ongoing Test series versus South Africa. Prior to the third Test in Ranchi, Kuldeep Yadav complained of a shoulder pain and Nadeem was called up as a cover. Things got better for the left-arm spinner as he ended up getting his maiden Test cap.

Nadeem replaced Ishant Sharma in the eleven. However, his dream of donning the national colours could’ve been crushed in childhood itself. Around 17 years ago, his father Javed Mahmood, a police officer then posted in Dhanbad, told his two sons that only one could play the game.

It’s because he didn’t want both to risk their lives chasing something that didn’t guarantee a secure future. It was then that Assad Iqbal, his brother, made a sacrifice, stepping aside and letting Nadeem play. He convinced his father to let Shahbaz ply his trade in the sport.

Shahbaz Nadeem also requested me to pray to the almighty

“Back then, the decision was right. I even threw his bat out of the house once in Bokaro. Assad was already captain of the Bihar under-15 side by then. But he convinced me to let Shahbaz play, as he has decided to opt out,” Mahmood, who is based in Muzaffarpur in Bihar after retiring as a deputy superintendent of police, was quoted as saying in The New Indian Express.

Mahmood talked about how Nadeem was excited after his maiden India call up. “He called in the afternoon and informed us about his selection. He also requested me to pray to the almighty so that he can find a place in the XI. It seems my prayers were answered,” said the proud father.

On Saturday when Nadeem got his national cap at the JSCA International Stadium, his elder brother Assad was at a private hospital in New Delhi. There his better-half was undergoing a minor surgery for a cyst removal. As far as his career is concerned, Asad completed engineering after giving up on cricket and is working with a reputed company in Delhi.

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