Claiming over 165 wickets in 180+ matches
As such a dynamic and much-loved sport, there are some British Asian cricketers emerging on the field.
Among their talents, they are products of the growing inclusion of British cricket, as well as the type of skilled players it can produce.
These cricketers encapsulate the essence of inspiration.
Whilst some are starting to make a name for themselves, others are beginning to make their own impact.
Let’s explore these incredible British Asian cricketers and why they are tipped to become legends of the game.
Shoaib Bashir is a British Pakistani cricketer who has been making waves in the sport and represents the new generation of cricketers.
Shoaib’s passion for cricket was ignited by his uncle, who was a wicket-keeper batsman for Guildford City Cricket Club.
Shoaib honed his cricketing skills by playing club and age-group cricket for Guildford, Surrey, and Middlesex.
He also contributed to Minor Counties cricket for Berkshire, showcasing his prowess.
In the winter of 22-23, he went to Australia to play club cricket, which helped him improve.
In October 2022, Shoaib secured a contract with Somerset, which was a turning point in his career.
He showcased his potential by taking nine wickets at an average of 14.11 in second-XI fixtures, which led to his inclusion in the main squad for the 2023 season.
His T20 Blast debut for Somerset against Hampshire on June 7, 2023, marked a significant milestone.
He played a pivotal role in their victory during the finals day at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.
The subsequent two-year contract extension until 2025 underscored his growing influence on the team.
In October 2023, Shoaib received a call to the England Lions, which was a testament to his growing stature.
He made his debut match against Afghanistan B and took six wickets for 42 runs.
His international career reached its pinnacle when he received a maiden call-up to the senior England side in December 2023, which culminated in his Test debut against India on February 2, 2024.
Growing up in a sporting family, Virdi’s father represented Kenya in junior tennis, and his brother introduced him to cricket.
As a teenager, he turned down private school scholarships, opting to play adult cricket since the age of 13.
Amar Virdi embarked on his first-class journey with Surrey in the 2017 County Championship on May 26, 2017.
However, it was in the 2018 County Championship that he left his mark, leading English-born spin bowlers with an impressive tally of 39 wickets.
In January 2019, Virdi faced a significant setback, grappling with a stress injury to his back.
The road to recovery was paved with challenges, but the mid-July comeback was nothing short of extraordinary.
In his first match post-recovery, he took a staggering 14 wickets, proving his mettle on the cricketing stage.
In June 2020, he was named in England’s 30-man squad for Test series training.
His resilience and skill earned him a spot as a reserve player in England’s Test squad for the series against Sri Lanka (December 2020) and India (January 2021).
Beyond the cricket field, Virdi embraces his Sikh identity with pride.
Hailing from a family with roots in Punjab, his parents’ migration from Kenya and Uganda adds a unique cultural layer to his identity.
Abtaha Maqsood is a Scottish cricketer known for her role as a right-arm leg-break bowler.
She currently plays for various teams, including Middlesex, Sunrisers, Birmingham Phoenix, and the Scotland national team.
Abtaha’s cricket journey began at the age of 11 when she joined Poloc.
Within four months, she earned a spot in the Scotland under-17 squad and made her debut at the age of 12.
Abtaha has represented Scotland in various international tournaments, including the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier and the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier.
She made her Women’s T20 International debut against Uganda in July 2018.
Additionally, she played in the 2019 ICC Women’s Qualifier Europe tournament and the 2019 ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier.
Abtaha signed with the Birmingham Phoenix for the inaugural season of The Hundred and returned in 2022.
In January 2022, she was selected for Scotland’s team in the 2022 Commonwealth Games Cricket Qualifier tournament.
She later joined Sunrisers for the 2022 season, securing a professional contract for the 2023 season.
On April 22, 2023, Abtaha achieved a significant milestone, taking her maiden five-wicket haul in Women’s List A cricket.
She played a vital role in her team’s impressive victory against Southern Vipers by 126 runs.
Her cricket endeavours also extended to representing Middlesex in the 2023 Women’s T20 Cup.
Claiming over 165 wickets in 180+ matches, she is one of the most talented British Asian cricketers.
Eshun Singh Kalley
Eshun Singh Kalley, born on November 23, 2001, is an emerging English cricketer with a promising career ahead.
Currently representing Essex and Essex 2nd XI, he showcases his skills as a right-handed batsman and exhibits prowess in right-arm medium-fast-pace bowling.
In 2021, at the age of 20, Eshun Kalley inked his professional contract with Essex Cricket Club, marking the beginning of his professional journey.
While he is yet to make his debut for the First XI, Kalley demonstrated his cricketing prowess in the Second XI during the 2021 season.
One of his standout moments was claiming figures of 3/28 in a match against Somerset at Taunton Vale, showcasing his bowling capabilities.
Eshun Kalley’s dedication and solid performances in the Second XI hint at a bright future in English cricket.
Adi Hegde, hailing from Scotland, was born in Edinburgh and later moved to Aberdeen with his family.
Joining the renowned Gordonian club, known for rugby, Hegde’s passion for cricket developed at home and eventually led him to play at the club level.
His rapid ascent in the cricketing world saw him joining the Gordonians senior team at a young age.
Hegde, who has familial roots in Bengaluru, India, attributes a significant part of his success to the city, visiting it twice a year to enhance his cricketing skills.
During the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India, Adi Hegde dedicated several months in Bengaluru to refine his skills.
An example of his determination to the sport, he sent an open letter from Bengaluru to Cricket Scotland, where he said:
“Some of the main areas I have focused on have been improving my hand speed and my options against spin whilst batting.
“I’ve made a couple of technical changes to my action to allow me to spin the ball more.”
This effort paid off as he secured a spot in the Scotland U19 World Cup squad for the 2024 event in South Africa.
Scotland, with nine previous U19 World Cup appearances, is poised for their tenth entry.
Similar to Australia and New Zealand, the Scotland squad includes two players of Indian origin.
Alongside all-rounder Adi Hegde, right-arm pacer Nikhil Krishna Koteeswaran will also be part of the Scotland U19 squad.
Owen Gould is set to lead the Scotland U19 side in the upcoming U19 World Cup in South Africa.
These cricketers are poised for great things on the field and their careers are blossoming beautifully so far.
Whilst some are still finding their feet, other players have begun to bask on the world stage.
They universally embody themes of determination and triumph that define cricket.
With each inning, they embody the ethos that makes cricket a global passion.