Cricket has a unique way of transcending borders and bringing together individuals with a shared passion for the sport. Shariz Ahmad, born on 21 April 2003 in Amsterdam, is one such individual who has rapidly risen through the ranks to become a promising talent in Dutch cricket. As a right-arm leg spin bowler, Ahmad’s journey from the junior level to representing the Netherlands national cricket team in a short span of time is a testament to his dedication and skill.
A Glimpse into His Personal Life
Shariz Ahmad hails from a cricketing family with deep roots in both the Netherlands and Pakistan. He is the younger brother of Musa Ahmed, another talented Netherlands international cricketer. Their father, Nadeem Ahmad, made his mark in top-level club cricket in the Netherlands after immigrating from Lahore, Pakistan. Together, they shared a passion for cricket and represented Groen en Wit CC in Amsterdam, strengthening the bonds of cricket within their family.
Nurturing Talent in the Junior Ranks
Shariz Ahmad’s journey to the international cricket arena began in the junior ranks. In October 2020, he earned recognition by being named in the Dutch academy squad. This recognition came on the back of impressive performances at the under-18 level, where his talent and potential shone brightly.
The following September, Ahmad’s cricketing journey took a significant step forward as he became a part of the Dutch squad for the under-19 qualification matches in the Europe group for the 2022 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. During this crucial stage, he not only represented his country but also emerged as the leading wicket-taker for the Netherlands in the group, a testament to his bowling prowess and ability to perform under pressure.
Making Waves in Senior International Cricket
In February 2022, Shariz Ahmad received a momentous call-up to the senior international level. He was named in the Dutch limited-overs squads for their tour of New Zealand, marking his maiden senior international appearance. This was a significant milestone for the young leg spinner, and it signaled the beginning of a new chapter in his cricketing journey.
May 2022 brought further recognition for Ahmad as he was named in the Dutch One Day International (ODI) squad for their series against the West Indies. His ODI debut took place on 2 June 2022, as he donned the Netherlands jersey to face the West Indies in a high-stakes encounter. Ahmad’s inclusion in the squad was a testament to his growing reputation as a talented spin bowler.
In July 2022, Shariz Ahmad’s rapid rise continued as he found himself named in the Netherlands’ Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier B tournament held in Zimbabwe. This was another significant milestone in his career, as he stepped onto the global T20 stage. His T20I debut on 11 July 2022, against Papua New Guinea, was a momentous occasion.
During the 1st T20I against New Zealand, Ahmad showcased his skills and contributed to his team’s success by emerging as the Netherlands’ best bowler, taking an impressive 2 wickets for just 15 runs. It was a performance that highlighted his potential as a match-winner with the ball.
A Five-Wicket Haul in ODI Cricket
March 2023 brought a moment of glory for Shariz Ahmad as he continued to make significant strides in international cricket. He was once again named in the Netherlands’ ODI squad, this time for their series against Zimbabwe. In the second ODI on 23 March 2023, Ahmad achieved a remarkable milestone by taking his maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket. His exceptional bowling performance played a pivotal role in his team’s success and added another feather to his cap.
Shariz Ahmad’s cricketing journey from a young talent nurtured in the Netherlands’ junior ranks to a promising leg spin bowler representing the national team is an inspiring story of perseverance and dedication. His ability to adapt to the demands of senior international cricket and consistently deliver outstanding performances is a testament to his talent and the bright future that lies ahead.
As Shariz Ahmad continues to develop his skills and make valuable contributions to Dutch cricket, he serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring cricketers both in the Netherlands and beyond. His journey exemplifies the power of cricket to unite diverse backgrounds and the limitless potential that can be unlocked through passion and hard work.