It was a little bit of a novelty even for the middle-aged Chowdhury, related to Kolkata’s first division membership Tapan Memorial.
Then 21 and pursuing a civil engineering diploma from a non-public college, the participant from Mewat is now a battle-hardened home bulwark exhibiting his wares on the huge stage.
Shahbaz, one of many pillars of the Bengal Ranji Trophy facet, can be an integral a part of Royal Challengers Bangalore and has proven his prowess as a batter with two game-changing knocks, in opposition to KKR and Rajasthan Royals, within the ongoing IPL season.
“Sure, that is my third season and there was a number of time enjoying at this place, so now could be the time to ship,” Shahbaz mentioned on the post-match press convention on Tuesday evening.
“Right now the state of affairs was harder as a result of at one time, the momentum was in direction of RR (Rajasthan Royals), and the best way DK bhai (Dinesh Karthik) shifted the momentum in direction of us, I felt straightforward to play with him at the moment. And with the identical momentum, we may pull off the match (in our favour),” the 27-year-old mentioned.
His success story was preceded by days of battle as one toiled on the exhausting membership grounds with some bald patches of grass for consolation.
Kolkata’s membership cricket has at all times been one of the sturdy within the nation however when it got here to dominance, Tapan Memorial wasn’t thought of amongst cricketing royalty within the ‘Metropolis of Pleasure’.
“We’re a really small membership not like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal or Kalighat who can afford huge bucks. Usually we ask our senior cricketers to take a look at for outstation boys searching for alternatives.
“One among our boys Pramod Chandila (former Bengal and present Haryana participant) obtained Shahbaz right here. He was then in third yr of engineering, I believe. When he had semesters, he would skip just a few video games,” Chowdhury recalled his affiliation with Shahbaz.
The truth is, when he’s within the metropolis now, Shahbaz stays with Chowdhury’s household in central Kolkata’s Entally space.
“I’ve two sons and Shahbaz is my third son. He’s now an integral a part of my household. I believe since he turned skilled, he has hardly gone dwelling. You all have seen that he has expertise to personal the massive stage however not solely on the sphere, he has an enormous coronary heart off it too,” Chowdhury mentioned.
What amazed Chowdhury probably the most was Shahbaz’s means to take care of his form whereas hitting half a dozen sixes in two video games.
“He not too long ago went to NCA and I believe he was one of many fittest boys. You recognize, he’s probably the most frugal eater I’ve seen. At occasions, he will not also have a third roti. I nonetheless cannot work out how he generates such energy.
“By the best way, he could also be from Haryana however is now used to correct Bengali delicacies at our dwelling,” he acknowledged.
When Shahbaz was requested final evening about his position, he maintained that it was about enjoying second fiddle to Dinesh Karthik.
“My position is in line with the state of affairs, like we misplaced two-three wickets (early). However when DK bhai (Dinesh Karthik) got here, I didn’t need to suppose a lot and needed to play with him. The best way he shifted the momentum in direction of us, it grew to become straightforward for me to play with him.
“He (Karthik) could be very skilled and he instructed me easy methods to play, can tackle which bowler and that was very useful. And so I may carry out nicely,” he added.
For Bengal, he has been a specialist spinner, however Shahbaz mentioned that RCB desires to make use of him extra as a middle-order batter, who would additionally often bowl.
“It will depend on the state of affairs, a number of groups have left-handers, so the captain offers the ball to leg-spinners. I hope that within the coming time, I’ll get to bowl extra,” he mentioned when identified that he hasn’t but bowled for his crew.
Anybody who thinks that his batting is fluke, Shahbaz has two Listing A lots of for Bengal, other than six first-class half tons.
In his preliminary days in Kolkata membership cricket, Shahbaz performed seven video games and scored six lots of and a bagful of wickets. There was no wanting again since.
“He’s a cerebral cricketer. Geometry is his favorite topic. Perhaps the precision and the understanding of discovering the appropriate hole and angles comes from that. He would at all times be keen to speak about cricket, soak in as a lot as doable,” coach Chowdhury mentioned.
He has now performed his third season in IPL and Chowdhury hasn’t seen any change in him even after rubbing shoulders with superstars like Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers.
“You recognize I had no clue that when one in all our membership’s groundsman (maalis as they name within the membership circuit) Niranjan handed away, Shahbaz did not inform anybody and straight despatched cash to his household.
“Just lately, I used to be shocked that he purchased a automotive and saved it in entrance of my home. I instructed him that since you might be at all times on the highway, take it again to Mewat and present it to your dad and mom. He mentioned, Partha da, it is best to drive to the workplace,” the coach obtained a contact emotional.
“I fully give credit score to his dad and mom. He’s a particularly nicely brought-up boy. His sister is a medical pupil, his grandfather was a headmaster. He has obtained a really balanced lifestyle.”