Not sure if my life would change but want to play 80-90 Tests for New Zealand: Ajaz Patel | Cricket News – World News

Not sure if my life would change but want to play 80-90 Tests for New Zealand: Ajaz Patel | Cricket News

Mumbai: India-born New Zealand cricketer Ejaz Patel Not sure if 10 wickets in his rare innings will prove to be life-changing, but he hopes it will help him play 80-90 Tests for his adopted homeland.
The Mumbai-born 33-year-old entered the history books last week when he took all 10 wickets in India’s first innings in the city of his birth, becoming the third cricketer after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble to do so.
Ejaz, who still has a big family presence in Mumbai, recounted that unforgettable week in media interaction ahead of New Zealand’s return home after a 0-1 series loss to India on Monday.
He is not hoping for a cash gain after his heroics, but hopes that he has inspired children of Asian descent to take back the sport in New Zealand, preferably spin bowling.
The left-arm spinner, when asked if he expects a change in his life, said, “I am not sure to be honest with you. I am very much in the present.”
“Yes, I’ve achieved something wonderful, but it’s a new day and there’s more Cricket for coming. So for me, it’s about staying grounded as the person I am, down to earth and nothing has really changed.
“And it’s not really going to affect me much because I know I have a lot left in my career. And if you look at my career, I’m in 11 games and I need to be one of those cricketers.” Hopefully 80 or 90 matches for New Zealand by the end of my career,” said the soft-spoken New Zealander.
Responding to a hypothetical question, Ijaz said that he would never want to play for any country other than New Zealand, although he feels a strong association with India.
“New Zealand is a place where I have been brought up. It is a place where I have learned my craft. It is a place where I have been given the opportunity to grow as a cricketer and be the person that I am.” I am and the cricketer I am and without New Zealand cricket, I probably wouldn’t have the career that I have now.
“So I won’t change it for the world. And yes, I also call myself an Indian by heritage and I am proud of that too.”
Ejaz, a devout Muslim, also spoke his mind on sensitive topics like racism and how the 2019 terrorist attack at a Christchurch mosque affected him.
At a time when English cricket has been shaken by allegations of racism leveled by British Asian cricketer Azim Rafiq, Ijaz said he did not face discrimination in New Zealand.
“We talk about diversity and racism from a sporting perspective now, but I don’t think it’s something that has affected me that much, especially in my culture, but that or my upbringing, but I do Wouldn’t say it doesn’t exist.
“I’ve actually felt quite comfortable in New Zealand during my travels. As soon as I arrived, I’m very grateful compared to the atmosphere at the Blackcaps and they are very respectful about my culture, my beliefs, my rituals. My I like it if I need Halal food, although they will order it from anywhere if they have to.
“I remember my debut season (in 2018) they sent someone with me to the mosque so that I could offer prayers and also in the change room, so if I need to pray, people respect me a lot and give me a place. And give time. Prayer.”
He also recalled a touching gesture of his neighbors coming back home after the Christchurch attack.
Ejaz said, “When this happened it had a huge impact on the Muslim community. We were all scared at that time. But the way our government handled it and the entire community, we got a lot of love.”
“My mother wears a burqa and walks out of the house, there is no decision. When the attack happened, construction was going on in our new house.
“Neighbors would have seen my mother in a burqa (and found that we were Muslims), our neighbors had planted a sapling on the staircase and had a letter that said ‘We support you and you are part of our community’ .’.”
He also credited his coach Roland Barrington, a former Karnataka cricketer who moved to New Zealand, for his development as a cricketer.
He concluded the conversation by talking about taking 10 wickets.
“To be honest, I didn’t think about it at all till I got the ninth wicket because I was so tall in my spell. As a spinner you focus on one ball at a time and you don’t try and Go too far ahead of yourself.
“So my main focus was just to bowl the best I could bowl one ball at a time. I knew it would be a special feat if I got all 10. So there was a little more pressure on that last over. Siraj’s face Have to do it and I have only four balls left.”


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