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Mohammed Shami reaches his hometown in Amroha, thanks Modi for raising spirits after World Cup loss, thanks Yogi for new stadium in his hometown

Mohammed Shami said, "In the changing times, we can create a good culture for upcoming generations by focusing on education, culture, and sports. If our young talent or any department needs any help from me, I will be more than happy to contribute."

On Thursday (23rd November), Indian cricketer Mohammed Shami visited his native place Sahaspur Alinagar in the Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh. While interacting with the media at his farmhouse, he expressed gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting the Indian cricket team in their dressing room boosting their confidence after the tragic loss in the final match of the ICC Cricket World Cup against Australia. Mohammed Shami also thanked the Yogi Adityanath government for announcing a new mini stadium at Mohammed Shami’s native place. The Indian pacer hoped that more players would emerge from his area as they would benefit from the new sporting facilities.

Prime Minister coming to boost you is not a small thing

About Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Indian dressing room after the match, Mohammed Shami said, “It was very important. Because, at that time, we had lost the match. When your Prime Minister comes to you and boosts you, it is a different confidence booster. We felt like the most responsible person in the country had come to us and sympathised with us at that difficult hour.”

He added, “This gesture was much needed indeed. Because, in such instances, the morale of the players is usually at a low. And if at such a moment, someone like the Prime Minister is standing by you and boosting your confidence, it takes your confidence to a different level altogether. I think this played a very significant part in rebuilding our confidence. Prime Minister coming to boost you is not a small thing.”

‘More players should emerge from the area I come from’, said Mohammed Shami

After an outstanding display by fast bowler Mohammad Shami, who became the leading wicket-taker in the ICC World Cup 2023, the government of Uttar Pradesh declared its intention to build a cricket stadium in the pacer’s hometown, Sahaspur Alinagar, located in the Amroha district.

Reacting to this, Mohammed Shami said, “I will visit the site where the stadium has been announced. I will definitely give some time to it. I will even offer any services which are required by me in this regard. My only message is – to work hard to identify the talent within you. When I left Amroha, everyone knew that the situation back home was not very good and fewer facilities were available here. I struggled hard to achieve this. Now, if you get the facilities here, then you have to work hard and focus on your skills.”

He added, “I think everyone should contribute to the country in a way he can. I never expected such a gift and honour. Nor did I play with the intention of getting it. But, yes, they (Yogi Adityanath government) have given a stadium to our district and I think more players should emerge from our area.”

What was going on in the team’s mind before the final match?

Answering this, the cricketer said, “There was nothing negative with us the night before the final match. We were confident. We were playing really well. Everything was going very well just like what we had planned. But, whenever we play a big game, like this one, certainly there is a pressure somewhere – even if we do not pay attention to it. And then the mind starts working like that only. Even if you want us to remain calm and cool, it does not happen until the game is over.”

Mohammed Shami called out Pakistanis for their mindset

When asked about the conspiracy theories peddled by former Pakistani cricketers about the impeccable performance of team India in the World Cup, Shami said that it is usual with the Pakistani mindset. Notably, former cricketer Hasan Raza, while appearing on a Pakistani news channel, had said that ICC or BCCI is providing some special kind of balls only to Indian bowlers due to which Indian bowlers like Shami and Siraj are getting swings even on batting pitches. Hasan Raza also asserted that there should be an ‘inspection’ of balls provided by the ICC. He also alleged that decisions are being made in favour of India in the matter of DRS.

Reacting to this, Mohammed Shami said, “What can I say about this? This is known to all. This is known to every one of us. Legendary players from Pakistan who have a good reputation in the world have also explained this to them. But, still, they do not understand things. So, I cannot comment anything on that. Their mindset is just like that only.”

We should have put more runs on the board

In this media interaction, the local boy of Amroha detailed various aspects of the game played by the Indian cricket team in the final match. He said, “The only thing was that we had less runs on the board. Had there been 300-odd runs, it would have been easier for us to defend. We cannot identify one instance in the match as the turning point. We cannot blame a single thing. Overall team performance is considered to check where we stand. It is very important to work as a unit and as a group. All I can say is that – probably we fell short of the score.”

About the importance of toss and other technical aspects involved, he said, “Technically speaking, in day-night matches, batting is always easier in the evening. You need to take all those things into account. If the opponent is winning the toss and inviting us to bat first, we have to bat first. It is not in our hands. Maybe that was one factor that benefitted them (Australia). Secondly, we really fell short of runs. 240 is not a score against a team like Australia in the finals. Maybe 30 to 40 runs more and we might have won the World Cup.”

Mohammed Shami added, “We do not overthink about any match. We followed the same process as we did in the last ten matches. Attitude and skills were all the same. Planning was also the same as we did in the past matches. I want to repeat that there can be a bad day. And maybe with us, the final match was that bad day.”

Making the team victorious is our main goal

Mohammed Shami was not in the playing eleven of the Indian cricket team in this World Cup in the first four matches. He came to the field in the fifth match as Hardik Pandya was injured. When asked about this, he said, “My approach was that this is the World Cup. We were a squad of 15. Ashwin was sitting on the bench with me. He has 600 to 700 international wickets. From this, you can imagine the quality and strength this team had. Therefore, I never thought about who was in the playing eleven and who was not. I always think that whosoever is in the playing eleven of the match, should perform well and make the team victorious. That is our main goal.”

One should not touch the trophy with his feet

Following the final match, Australian star batsman Mitchell Marsh was seen striking a pose with his feet placed on top of the World Cup trophy. When asked about this, Mohammed Shami clearly said that he did not like this gesture. He said, “I did not like that gesture. World Cup is a trophy for which 10 teams were fighting to hold it up over their heads with pride. Keeping one’s feet on that trophy – I did not like that gesture indeed. No one should do this.”

Mitchell Marsh posing with his feet atop the World Cup Trophy. Image Source: Deccan Herald

Let’s focus on education, culture, and sports for future generations

Detailing his vision for the upcoming generations, especially from the rural areas like the one he hails from, Mohammed Shami said, “In the changing times, we can create a good culture for upcoming generations by focusing on education, culture, and sports. If our young talent or any department needs any help from me, I will be more than happy to contribute. Yes, there are less facilities in villages. But, now, I think, the government is also very helpful in all those things. Now, it is for youths to step up and show their maturity and talent. It is for them to show their skills and shine the name of the country in the world.”

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