Mohammed Shami recounted his experience of attempting UP Ranji Trophy trials for two years, where despite performing well initially, he faced rejection during the final round.

Mohammed Shami’s recent career surge came unexpectedly after Hardik Pandya’s injury opened a door for his re-entry into the squad, culminating in his remarkable display as the top wicket-taker in the 2023 World Cup. However, Shami’s ascent was preceded by a tumultuous journey.

Hailing from Sahaspur in Uttar Pradesh, Shami encountered distressing experiences during the UP Ranji trials, being ousted despite performing well in the initial stages across two consecutive years. Undeterred, Shami persisted, enduring repeated rejection before eventually moving to Bengal.

“Everything was fine, I used to perform well but when the final round came, they kicked me out,” Shami revealed in an interview with Puma.

”When I went again next, year, the same thing happened. There were about 1600 boys for the trials which was for three days. What are they going to see? So my brother talked to the head and received a response which he never expected,” he continued.

Shami also recounted an incident where UP selectors judged his selection based on a physical task—moving a chair.

”If he can move this chair then the boy will be selected. He is very good. Otherwise, I’m sorry,” Shami recalled when the selection head told his brother. Shami also revealed his brother’s response,” Forget moving the chair, he can flip you over as well. There is no question of power.”

Unwilling to be chosen on such terms, Shami’s brother tore up the forms, refusing UP selection. The pacer then joined Bengal, where his talent flourished, propelling him to Indian team selection.

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Last Updated on November 25, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter