In an interview with Cricbuzz, former India bowling coach Bharat Arun revealed that star pacer Mohammed Shami had expressed his desire to retire from cricket after failing to pass the fitness test ahead of the England tour in 2018. Arun recalled that Shami was going through personal turmoil and was mentally affected by the setback. He said that Shami came to him and said, “I am very angry and I want to quit cricket.”
Realizing the seriousness of the situation, Arun took Shami to meet ex-India head coach Ravi Shastri. Together, they urged Shami to continue playing cricket and helped him work on his fitness. Shastri sent Shami to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for a month to focus on his comeback. Arun said that Shami’s conversation with Shastri helped the Indian pacer make a roaring comeback in cricket.
Shami was able to restart his career within a short period of time, playing all five Tests against England and taking 16 wickets. He was also instrumental in India’s historic series in Australia a few months later. Shami has since been one of the main pillars of the Indian bowling attack in the last decade, having played 61 Tests and taken 219 wickets.
The incident highlights the importance of mental and physical fitness in sports and the role of coaches in supporting their players through difficult times. The title for this article could be “Former India bowling coach Bharat Arun recalls how Ravi Shastri intervened to stop Mohammed Shami from quitting cricket in 2018.”