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Owais Alam Shah (born 22 October 1978 in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan) is a cricketer who plays for Middlesex and has appeared for England in a number of One-Day Internationals and Test matches. On the 7th of July 2007, Owais kindly agreed to be interviewed by Pakpassion.Net.


PakPassion.Net: Which batsman would you say you modelled yourself on, or who's technique and style do you think is most similar to yours?

Owais Shah: When I was younger I tried to use Mark Ramprakash's technique , who played for England, Middlesex and now Surrey. I now try and copy Sachin Tendulkar.


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PakPassion.Net: What is your favourite venue to play on?

Owais Shah: Lords


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PakPassion.Net: Have you ever considered returning to Pakistan to play if your career with England didn't turn out as well as it has?

Owais Shah: Probably not, I would try something new in England, maybe in a different field and try and make a living here.


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PakPassion.Net: Who do you think is the best bowler in the Pakistan team?

Owais Shah: Mohammed Asif is probably Pakistan's best bowler at the moment.


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PakPassion.Net: Owais, how was Abdul Razzaq at Middlesex? Do you think his stint at Middlesex was a success?

Owais Shah: I think his stint at Middlesex was very good, he helped us win some one day games and cleared up some championship games as well. I think it was success for Middlesex and for Razzaq himself just to learn how to play in different conditions, especially in England where the ball moves around and I'm sure he would have learned a lot more from it. We were honoured to be playing in the same team as someone like Abdul Razzaq who is one of the very few dangerous one day cricketers in the world.


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PakPassion.Net: You scored loads of runs for Middlesex and then went on to score a match winning 88 in the Mumbai test match your only test match at the time) so how did it feel when you weren't given a chance against SL, PAK and then off course the Ashes? Did the selectors give you any specific reason on why you were left out?

Owais Shah: No specific reason, They said Marcus Trescothick has to come back and I am the one who has to make way, obviously I was disappointed at being left out as I felt I did everything I had to do prior to the test match, getting runs for Middlesex and more runs in the first match, I could not do anymore then I did, perhaps I could have got a hundred. In sports you have to bide your time, some times you get tough decisions that go against you and thatís part of parcel of professional sports


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PakPassion.Net: Do you feel that you haven't been given enough chances to cement a place in the England side since your ODI debut?

Owais Shah: Probably not, I have played nearly 20 ODI's but it would have been nice to get a run of games rather then one game here and a couple of games there then another year out of ODI's. When you get one game here and one game there, you do not know where you stand, very frustrating I must admit.


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PakPassion.Net: You were selected in Englandís provisional 30-man squad for the 2007 World Cup, but missed out on the final 15 that went to the West Indies. How difficult was that to take, and do you think your perceived 'lack of athleticism' might have conspired against you?

Owais Shah: I wasn't surprised that I missed out on the world cup, I was actually surprised that I made the initial 30 man squad for the world cup to be honest. It was frustrating as I was not very athletic in the field, could well have been the reason I missed out on the world cup. I have had an ongoing problem with my knee and I actually used the time during the world cup to get my knee right, which is a lot better now. I can hold my own in the field.


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PakPassion.Net: Who are you close to in the England setup?

Owais Shah: Probably Mathew Prior.


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PakPassion.Net: You play for a country where the Twenty20 format of the game is thriving more than anywhere else in the world. What are you thoughts on the format and the place it should hold in the global cricket environment?

Owais Shah: I think it brings in great interest from the kids which is really good as we are trying to promote the game at grass roots level. I think the game in general is quite good fun, there is more of a fun element coming into cricket now which I think is brilliant. I am all for the Twenty20 cricket and obviously we have the Twenty20 world cup comming up which is even better.


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PakPassion.Net: Owias, having seen you play international cricket recently you seem to have improved your running between the wickets!!! Have you worked hard on this?
p.s.
apologies for running you out a couple of years ago in that benefit match at Finchley!


Owais Shah: I didn't know there was a problem with me running between the wickets, I have been running between the wickets well in the past, considering that I have never been run out.

p.s Thatís not a problem :)


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PakPassion.Net: Match against Pakistan in 2001 at Lords where you batted really well. Cameras spotted you chatting a lot to Pakistani players while batting. Was it friendly chatting or sledging? What are your views on sledging?

Owais Shah: Bit of both, I think there is definitely a place for it, as long as nothing too personal is directed at the batsmen, you can talk amongst your players about the batsman. I think it's good fun, It's the mental side of the sport, there is definitely a place for it in the game.


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PakPassion.Net: Recently, players like yourself and Ryan Sidebottom, Mascharenhas etc, having been strictly county players for so long, have been given opportunities at International level. Which other county players would you like to see be given a chance at International level?

Owais Shah: Ed Joyce has proved he gets a lot of runs for Middlesex and Alan Richardson who I think is a good cricketer, These two I think should be given a chance.


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PakPassion.Net: Tell us about your time at Wycombe House Cricket Club.

Owais Shah: I played club cricket there from the age of 8 years old onwards, I played through all the age groups and then got Middlesex trials because someone recommended me, I owe a lot to Wycombe house, a guy called Ken Cross who helped my move to this country and play cricket for Middlesex. Wycombe house is where it started and I can't thanks them enough.


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PakPassion.Net: What do you think about Shoaib Malik as Pakistan captain?

Owais Shah: I've never seen him captain before but I am sure it's a good choice, He takes pride in himself and is playing brilliantly, we will wait and see. I have not played against him as captain so I can't say how much of a good captain he is.


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PakPassion.Net: How is the standard of County Cricket compared to Pakistan domestic and which prepares you better for bowling and batting?

Owais Shah: I'm not sure as I have never played domestic cricket in Pakistan.


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PakPassion.Net: What is your favourite Pakistani food?

Owais Shah: Chicken Biriyani, I quite like that.

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PakPassion.Net: Do you still visit Pakistan? If yes then how do you like it?

Owais Shah: Yes I do visit Pakistan, It's where I'm from, it was where I was born, it was where I was brought up. I've got a lot of affection towards Pakistan, It hurts me to see a lot of problems politically in Pakistan, but thatís just life.


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