RCB spinner Shahbaz Ahmed is an inspiration for engineers who are looking to change their careers.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) spinner Shahbaz Ahmed is living under the shadow of his more consistent compatriot Wanindu Hasaranga in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. His contribution, however, cannot be looked over. The pillar of Bengal Ranji trophy side has scored 198 runs in this lucrative season so far and picked up the wickets of Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Ruturaj Gaikwad before dismissing the in-form Jonny Bairstow in the IPL 2022 clash between RCB and PBKS at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday. So what is the story of Ahmed and why is he an inspiration for the engineers?
Engineers in India have traditionally switched their careers from time to time and Ahmed belongs to the category. His Kolkata club coach Partha Pratim Chowdhury was the first to spot the dream to succeed as a professional cricketer in his eyes when he checked in at one of the maidans in the metro city. The spinner was, then a 21-year-old, who was pursuing his career in civil engineering but has grown manifolds since then.
Ahmed was bought back by RCB at the IPL mega auction after winning a bidding war against KKR for INR 2.4 crore. He is a household name in the Ranji trophy and has picked up a hat-trick against Hyderabad in the 2019-20 edition. He was earlier a part of the RCB franchise in 2020 before being picked up again ahead of the ongoing season. He wants to make it count this time. “Yes, this is my third season and there has been a lot of time playing at this position, so now is the time to deliver,” Shahbaz said at the post-match press conference .
His rise through the ranks became possible as he remained dedicated to his art while practicing at the Tapan Memorial Club in Kolkata which is not even considered as a part of the cricketing royalties. But he pursued his cricketing dreams and is enjoying his first bit of success currently. “We are a very small club unlike Mohun Bagan, East Bengal or Kalighat who can afford big bucks. Often we ask our senior cricketers to check out for outstation boys looking for opportunities. “One of our boys Pramod Chandila (former Bengal and current Haryana player) got Shahbaz here. He was then in third year of engineering, I think. When he had semesters, he would skip a few games,” Chowdhury recalled his association with Shahbaz in an interview to PTI.