Abrar Kazi vindicates Nagaland move with stellar all-round show

Abrar Kazi, who moved from Karnataka to Nagaland as a professional player this season, scored an unbeaten 215-ball 200 and picked four wickets in his very first match for his new team.

Abrar Kazi's decision to move to Nagaland this season has already proven beneficial for his career.   -  K. Murali Kumar

When opportunities dried up for Abrar Kazi in his home state of Karnataka, he decided to ply his trade in Nagaland. An unbeaten 215-ball 200 and a four-for-16 haul, in his very first match for his new team, proves that Kazi made the right decision.

The fine all-round performance, against Mizoram, has come as sweet relief from a turbulent phase of his life. After scoring his maiden first-class century, for Karnataka in January 2015, Kazi’s action was called into question by the match referee. It nearly ended his cricket career.

 

“It feels amazing. I never expected to get a double century. After I got to 100, I was informed that we were not going to declare, so I was keen to carry on batting for a long time.” -— Abrar Kazi

 



He fought back, remodeled his left-arm spin action, and was cleared to bowl after undergoing a battery of tests at Sri Ramachandra Sports Medicine Centre (Chennai). The long layoff, however, cost him a regular spot in the Karnataka side.

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In the space of three years, Kazi had played only nine first-class matches for Karnataka. At the start of this season, he knew that it was time for a big change. “Even if I got into the Karnataka squad, I would have played only 2-3 matches. The best option was to move to a new State. Of course, it was tough to leave Bengaluru, but the priority was to get opportunities to play first-class cricket,” Kazi said on Tuesday.

On his stellar show at Dimapur, Kazi said, “It feels amazing. I never expected to get a double century. After I got to 100, I was informed that we were not going to declare, so I was keen to carry on batting for a long time.”

Kazi has high praise for his Nagaland teammates. “We are the best team in the North-East. The players are exceptionally talented, and we can definitely qualify for the Elite Group for next season," Kazi said.