Multan Sultans’ giant with killer pace and killer smile

Shahnawaz Dahani nicknamed 3G bowler by his village people

By: News Desk      Published: 01:01 PM, 25 Jun, 2021
Multan Sultans’ giant with killer pace and killer smile
File photo.

The find of the Pakistan Super League 2021, Shahnawaz Dahani, dedicated his PSL success to his mother and late father, after the Multan Sultans won the trophy and the fast bowler ended the tournament on a high note.

The ever-smiling Dahani managed to take 20 wickets during the PSL 2021, becoming the third bowler to take as many wickets in the tournament. 

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For his outstanding achievements, he was declared Best Emerging Player and Best Bowler of the tournament. 

The over-the-moon Dahani took to Twitter to express his emotions, dedicating them to his parents.

"Alhamdullah!. To be best emerging player and best bowler of the tournament in @thePSLt20 is like dream come [true]," he tweeted. 

The fast bowler dedicated his success to his mother "who always prays for me and to my late father (if he was here he would have been proud of me)".

Dahani has come a long way, from playing barefoot with a tape-ball on an uneven field to becoming the best bowler in the PSL. He didn’t have any facilities in his village, not even a proper connection to watch live cricket.

He would borrow shoes from his friends and do “jugaars” to watch live streams of cricket matches around the world. “I was passionate about bowling fast and was known in my village for my fast bowling, that’s why many there had named me 3G bowler – to relate the speed with the speed of the internet,” Dahani had said then.

He also mentioned how he had to borrow shoes from a friend to appear in the U19 trials for his district.

The hype train roared to life in the doomed first part of the PSL in February and March, when there was legitimately little to be happy about. 

In those early days, the excitement around the six foot two fast bowler seemed a passing fad, and perhaps even a little contrived. He was picking up wickets regularly - nine in his first four matches - but he was also frightfully expensive; no one who bowled as many overs as him leaked runs at more than his 10.33. The sample size was too small, anyway, and the decision to include him for Pakistan's tour of Zimbabwe - the Test leg, no less - on the basis of the excitement he generated in the resplendent kit of Sultans seemed more than a little reactionary. 

The first game in Abu Dhabi, where Dahani was tonked for 46 in four, seemed a regression to the mean. But ever since, the 22-year old has enjoyed a purple patch he would do well to ever replicate in a career that, on current evidence, has a long way to run. His strike rate, already impressive at 11.6 balls per wicket in Karachi, has improved to 10 in Abu Dhabi, the fourth best among all players who have taken 20 wickets in a single season across all leagues.

It happened because he followed up that first game with 11 wickets in his next four, including a T20 spell for the ages to knock out Lahore Qalandars, taking four wickets for five runs in three overs and becoming the leading wicket-taker at this year's PSL.