Playing with Sachin Was like a Dream; POST FOCUS ON CRICKET CCoollwwyynn BBaayy Pprroo SSyyeedd Oonn Wwoorrkkiinngg Wwiitthh IInnddiiaa Lleeggeenndd. Aanndd Hhiiss Cclluubb''ss Cchhaanncceess Ooff Pprroommoottiioonn in the Latest Look at North Wales Cricket's Overseas Stars, DAVE JONES Talks to Colwyn Bay's Former Mumbai Indians Star Syed Shahabuddin
R EPRESENTING the same team as the most prolific run scorer in Test cricket history is just one of many highlights from Syed Shahabuddin's career.
When Colwyn Bay's latest overseas professional signed up for Indian Premier League side the Mumbai Indians in 2010, he found himself under the captaincy of his idol - the great Sachin Tendulkar.
"It was like a dream playing alongside Sachin," recalled all-rounder Shahabuddin.
"He is one of the best batsmen in the world as everyone knows and my favourite player also. He was such a helpful, down to earth person to be involved with, looked up to by everyone."
Tendulkar, whose 15,837 Test runs and 18,426 in ODIs are both world records, was not the only international cricket icon in that Mumbai side which reached its first IPL final that season, losing to Chennai Super Kings.
The star-studded line-up also included West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, South African ace Jean-Paul Duminy, Indian spin-king Harbhajan Singh, Sri Lankan great Sanath Jayasuriya and top level pace bowlers Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga. Shahabuddin had earned his elite call-up through his fine performances for Andhra in the Ranji Trophy, India's top domestic competition and equivalent to the County Championship in England and Wales, and his two years in the privately-funded Indian Cricket League (ICL) between 2007-09, where he played for Hyderabad Heroes, learning the intricacies of Twenty20 under coach Steve Rixon and taking 17 wickets in 21 games.
"It was an amazing time," reflected the right-handed batsman and right-arm fast-medium pace bowler.
"Working with bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Malinga was a wonderful experience."
Khatib Syed Shahabuddin, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Monday, is affectionately known as "Shobby".
He hails from Kadiri, a small town in the south-eastern part of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh, India.
Shahabuddin made his first-class debut for Andhra's cricket team in 1998/99.
He has played in 76 FCM, scoring over 2,500 runs, including two centuries and a highest score of 120, and taking 243 wickets at 26.70 apiece with a best analysis of 7-35, scooping 16 five-fors and two 10-wicket hauls in a match.
Shahabuddin has also featured in 80 one-day contests, notching over 1,200 runs and landing 93 wickets.
An impressive CV which makes him one of the finest players to represent Colwyn Bay in the Liverpool Competition, following the likes of Andre Nel, Debasis Mohanty and Francois van der Merwe in recent years. …