caught up with all-rounder Bilal Shahid in New York and posed the following questions to the Pakistani native, now residing in the New York metropolitan area.

Bilal Shahid with New Zealand opener Martin Guptill.

Tell us about yourself?
My name is Bilal Shahid. I was born in Hasanabdal, Pakistan. I moved to New York, when I was 14. I currently reside in in Queens, NY and I started playing league cricket when I was 17. I have played for New York City CC, Pasban CC, Meten-Meer-Zorg CC, and King Cobras CC.

Tell us about your training routines?
I try to do a lot of running, push-ups and crunches. I also try to practice my skills 2-3 days a week and go to indoor nets during the off-season.

What is the craziest thing you have done while playing cricket?
Hmmm, I have done everything in league cricket, from batting 1-11, bowling pace/spin, and occasionally wicket-keeping. However, the craziest is probably bowling left arm spin! Loll

Who is the toughest player you know?
When I am playing, I don’t think about the names. I try to play every ball as a new ball, but that doesn’t always happen. When I played in the EACA, I found Zaheer Saffie and Alex Amsterdam hard to dismiss. Some other tough players are Akeem Dodson, Sharaz Baksh, Jermaine Lawson, Elmore Hutchinson, Shehzad Shahid, and many more. Toughest Batsmen – In the nets, it’s Umar Alizai. I am glad we play on the same team. Hammad Hasan bowls some insanely fast left-arm slingers in the nets. He always hits me!

What’s your favorite wicket celebration routine?
Celebrating is something natural. It changes according to the situation, but my favorite is Dale Steyn’s type of punching the air. That gets the team pumped up!

Tell us something we do not know about you?
I am an accountant.

Bilal Shahid is known for his hard hitting. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

If cricket has taught you one thing, what is it?
Brotherhood, I have made some really good friends. We win, lose, and celebrate together! If you are going to play cricket all day, it’s always good to be around the people you like.

Can you cook?
No, unless I have too.

What’s your biggest weakness?

Who are your favorite cricket commentators?
Ian Chappell, Mark Nicholas, and bumble (David Lloyd).

Do you collect anything?
I keep all my cricket jerseys.

The best compliment you’ve received from a fellow cricketer?
I was in Florida on a cricket tour and a US National player told me “You are the Andrew Flintoff of USA” That gave me a lot of confidence!

What is the best cricket souvenir you have?
Some trophies and medals I have received.

Where’s the best place in the USA to play cricket?
Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, FL

Who’s your all-time hero outside of cricket?
My parents.

What are your favorite shots?
The square-cut and straight drives.

Would you rather take a five-wicket haul or score a fifty?
Whichever wins a game for my team.

Which cricketers in the world would you pay to watch?
Wasim, Waqar, and Shoaib bowl. I loved watching Ricky Ponting and Saeed Anwar bat.

Describe yourself in three words?
Positive, Competitive, and Humorous.

Have you got any superstitions?
I don’t believe in superstitions.

Are you handy at any other sports?
I play golf, volleyball, bowling, and run track.