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‘Mohammad Amir helped me learn reverse swing during DP World ILT20,’ says Muhammad Jawadullah

DUBAI: For Muhammad Jawadullah, a rising star in UAE national side, the exposure at the recently concluded DP World ILT20 Season 2 was all about learning leaps and bounds from stalwarts in international cricket. He particularly cherishes the time he spent with Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir who represented the Desert Vipers, calling Amir his ‘guide.’

“I have been working on reverse swing and Mohammad Amir has been a guide for me. I was fortunate to learn from his skill and expertise. It does require a lot of effort, but I am getting better with each session. In the UAE, fast bowlers sometimes struggle in the middle and death overs, so I think reverse swing is a very good option for us.”

Jawadullah cemented his status as a promising figure in the Sharjah Warriors’ bowling line-up during the exhilarating Season 2 of the DP World ILT20. The tournament finished with the MI Emirates lifting the glittering trophy in front of a packed Dubai International Stadium on Saturday, 17 February.

Though Sharjah Warriors campaign didn’t go as planned in season 2 of the DP World ILT20, Jawadullah believes there were a lot of positive from this outing. “It is not the result we wanted, but when we look back at the season, there are a lot of positives and lessons from it. I think we lost a few critical matches in the middle phases and that made things difficult for us,” he added.

Elaborating on his individual performance, the 25-year-old said, “I was quite happy with the pace I was generating throughout the tournament. I was consistently bowling at the 140 kmph mark, sometimes even touching 145 kmph. The first two matches I went wicketless, so my focus was to keep my pace and hit the right lengths, once I started doing that my performance improved.”

Ending the season with an enviable tally of 10 wickets in just eight matches, at an impressive strike rate of 13, Jawadullah, the left-arm pacer once again proved his mettle with the ball. His stellar performance positioned him as a strong contender for the “Best UAE Player” accolade for the second consecutive season, securing yet another spot in the top 10 rankings. Jawadullah’s standout moment came when he showcased his bowling prowess with figures of 3/5 in a gripping match against the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders.

Jawadullah made his debut in professional cricket at the inaugural season of the DP World ILT20. Months later he was debuting for the UAE national side. He praised the ECB’s initiative of the DP World ILT20 and called it a catalyst for unearthing and growing talent in the region. “It is a massive opportunity for young players in the UAE. I think it is one of the best leagues in the world in terms of quality. Unlike other leagues, franchises are only mandated a minimum of two local players, as a result the overall quality of the league is very high and therefore it helps us improve quicker.”

He further added, “I think the next frontier for us as UAE players is to use these opportunities to find our way in leagues around the world and make an impact while also helping UAE improve more and more as an international team.”

Shedding light on an area of focus for him, the pacer emphasized on restoring his fitness to a 100 percent following a recent surgery. “It is a challenging time for any professional athlete when they are nursing an injury. Not able to work on your game and practice can be tough physically and mentally. I am just sticking to the process and hopefully will be back in action in about 2-3 months. I am confident that I will be back to my best once I recover fully.”

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