One minute, he was sitting down to eat dinner with nearly 30 of his closest family. The next, he was being told that he was on the Test squad to play for New Zealand. Meet Ajaz Patel, a left-arm spinner who was, like many before him, a fast bowler growing up. It wasn’t until he was in his twenties that he realised he needed to make a change. “Being 5 foot 6 wasn’t quite going to cut it at the next level.” Dabbling with it in a club game, he realised it might even be fun to bowl spin and the rest, as it turned out, was history. On October 31, 2018 – at the age of 30 – Ajaz opened the bowling for New Zealand in a T20I against Pakistan. Exactly like his coach Dipak Patel did in the 1992 World Cup. Clearly, it was kismet.
Therefore, let’s dig into the life of Ajaz Patel to know more about his lifestyle, career, stats, bio, more
Name: Ajaz Yunus Patel
DOB: October 21, 1988
Place Of Birth: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Nationality: New Zealander
Marital Status: Married
Wife: Nilofer Patel
Family: Yunus Patel (Father), Shehnaz Patel (Mother), Tanzeel Patel (Sister), Sana Patel (Sister)
ODI Debut: N/A
T20I Debut: Vs Pakistan, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, October 2018
Test Debut: Vs Pakistan, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, October 2018
Ajaz Patel: Career Highlights
When eight-year-old Ajaz Yunus Patel moved to New Zealand from Mumbai, he did not dream of becoming a cricketer. The youngster, born in the Maximum City, would occasionally play cricket in school. That was in 1996. Twenty-two years later, he is New Zealand’s hero in the four-run win against Pakistan in the first Test in Abu Dhabi. The left-arm spinner claimed a fifer (5/59) in the second innings that helped the Kiwis turn the tide on Monday.
Ajaz Patel started his cricket career as a fast bowler for Auckland. While playing for Suburbs in a match, he started spin bowling and got encouragement from Dipak Patel, a former all-round cricketer of New Zealand. Dipak helped him a lot with his spin bowling skills. On December 7, 2012, Ajaz made his T20 debut for Central Districts against Wellington in a New Zealand Domestic Twenty-20 Series. He conceded 37 runs in his 3 overs with the highest economy of the match of 12.33.
However, it was red-ball cricket that Ajaz impressed everyone in. He kept picking wickets consistently but found it hard to break into the New Zealand squad, who already had Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi in the ranks. The former was a major roadblock as he gave more with the bat compared to Ajaz.
That did not deter Ajaz as he kept performing for Central Districts, picking up 16 five-fers and three 10-wicket hauls. 2018 was a great year for the spinner as he finished as the leading wicket-taker in Plunket Shield – 48 wickets in 9 games. In the process. Ajaz was awarded the Men’s Domestic Player of the Year.
- Central Districts,
- New Zealand XI,
- New Zealand,
- New Zealand A,
Ajaz Patel: Stats
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