Naqvi’s move from Australia to Africa last year was the result of advice from former Zimbabwe international Solomon Mire, who played 58 times for his country between 2014 and 2019.
Mire now lives in Melbourne and is the director of Advance2Play, which promotes cricket development.
“Solomon used to come and play in Darwin during the off-season. I watched him play growing up at club cricket,” Navqi said.
“I’ve known him for about eight or nine years and he showed me what comes with cricket, as a professional cricketer, so that’s how our friendship grew.
“He felt that I was ready to move to the next step in cricket and told me the Rhinos in Zimbabwe were struggling at the time.”
Unbeknown to Naqvi, his journey to Zimbabwe would not only help him take his game to the next level but also help his younger brother Awad.
The 21-year-old has signed a professional deal with the Tuskers, and has hit three half-centuries in seven first-class outings.
“When I came (to Zimbabwe), my brother Awad and father came over to watch my debut game,” Naqvi said.
“Luckily my brother brought his kit so he could train here. After I scored a century on debut, there was talk about my brother being here as well.
“Tuskers asked my brother to come for training, and after that they asked to have him for the season. He has done well, scored a half-century on debut and Tuskers have been happy with him since.”
Naqvi would now cherish the opportunity to follow one of this heroes and play for his adopted nation.
Pakistan-born Sikandar Raza moved to Zimbabwe in 2002 and has been a member of the Chevrons since 2013.
The 37-year-old, who will play English county cricket for the first time this year, has gone on to develop into arguably the key player in Zimbabwe’s T20 side.
“Raza is definitely one of the best in the world. He knows his game, he knows his bowling,” Naqvi said.
“I want to be a similar player to him. We are both batting all-rounders and I am somewhat following in his footsteps.”
Zimbabwe will co-host the 2027 Cricket World Cup alongside South Africa and Namibia and, on his current course, Naqvi could well complete his incredible cricketing take off.
Source link : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/africa/67992089?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA
Publish date : 2024-01-19 07:03:25