The first American cricketer – Texas to Adelaide
He is among the fast bowling cartel…from Texas.
It is not every day you hear of a young Pakistani born American plying his trade in the cricket world. In a country obsessed with baseball, Shuja Naqvi, 22, was the first American player to attend the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy (DLCA). In 2015, Naqvi made the trip to Adelaide, Australia seeking to improve his game. The right-arm pace bowler who played for the University of Houston said that he needed to come to come to the academy to get professional coaching for the first time.
During his time in Adelaide, Naqvi was highly impressed with the professional standards offered and played with Woodville District Cricket Club. He recounted that “I had a lot of technical flaws in my action and now I know how to continue working on them when I go back home”. Head coach Shaun Seigert was particularly impressed with Naqvi’s ability to get up to speed with the difference in training intensities between the two countries.
“Shuja had a fantastic work ethic and attitude…it was just a case of getting him to follow a program and improve specific aspects of his game.”
A highlight of Naqvi’s time with the DLCA was not only his noticeable improvement in cricket, but “living with other professional athletes matures you a lot faster and you learn to adapt to things quicker.”
Naqvi says cricket is becoming more popular in the US and is shown on specialist cable cricket channel Willow TV, as well as online.
“People have an idea about what cricket is but not too much, only that it’s a foreign sport.”
The DLCA is continuing to build its strong relationship with North America through hosting camps in both the USA and Canada. The DLCA has since seen a clear rise in North American players attending the High Performance Program and welcomes anyone from the region wanting to improve their skills.