Interview: USA U-19 Waqas Shah Looks Ahead

Waqas Shah The VelloCricket Journal’s People Choice NY Youth Cricketer of the Season 2013

by Dyon Ravello

VC: Were you surprised by your selection for US Under-19 Combine last Spring (2013)?

Shah: Yes! I was surprised but I had an 80 not out at eastern regional trials here in New York so I was confident.

US Under-19 Waqas Shah hooks while batting during World Cup Qualifiers in King City Canada 2013 - photo by Salman Ahmad

US Under-19 Waqas Shah hooks while batting during World Cup Qualifiers in King City Canada 2013 – photo by Salman Ahmad

VC: What did you take from US Under-19 Combine to ensure that you were selected?

Shah: What I can say is that the Combine was the best experience I have had in terms of how to train. Here we play on the weekend with little practice session so that was a significant change. Gym session has always been a key aspect of my preparation as well.

VC: USA missed a chance at the recently completed ICC U-19 World Cup what did you take from the trip to Canada?

Shah: It was really a roller-coaster beginning with trials at the Combine where I had most runs, but I started only at number seven (7) in Canada, but I kept moving up the order finishing at number three (3).

VC: Was 2013 your best season to date?

Shah: Statistically yes, 2012 I had a very good season as well so I was able to carry the momentum from the past year. So too I am looking to carry that form into 2014 especially being appointed captain of Pakistan CC of the American League.

VC: What would you like to achieve in cricket?

Shah: I will definitely like to play at the highest level, US Senior National Team, ICC World Cup even the possibility of playing for my native Pakistan. Especially since representing US U-15, and now US U-19 I have always been a big dreamer.

Waqas Shah quotes “Each time I hit the floor I am always looking to get back up punching like Muhammad Ali.”

NYCR Donate1VC: Have you considered playing in Pakistan or abroad to hone your skill?

Shah: Yes I was scheduled to visit Pakistan to play there this winter but I suffered a severe injury which I am just about to recover from.

VC: Were you considered for US Open?

Shah: US Open unfortunately clashed with school so there was a conflict in attending the Florida tournament.

VC: What are your goals for 2014?

Shah: Well, I will like to score more hundreds, last season I had two hundreds so I will like to put up more runs on the board.

VC: What is life outside of cricket for Waqas Shah?

Shah: I am very keen about my faith and belief in Islam. As its provides a focal point for my Pre-med studies at City College as I will like to become a Pediatrician. I have a passion for reading especially learning about my role models like Muhammad Ali and World Cup Winning Captain Imran Khan of Pakistan. My family is also a very important aspect of my life.

Waqas extends gratitude to his Parents, cousins, brother, coaches and club who all have helped him to develop his game to date. To abrogate contemporary proverb it takes a community to raise an elite athlete and an exemplary young-man.

Dyon Ravello is a sport journalist based in New York, with experiences in coaching, umpiring, scoring and administration.

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