|Style||Slow left arm chinaman bowler|
|D. O. B.||18 February, 1990|
When West Indian batsman Marlon Samuels scored an unbeaten double-hundred in a tour match in Benoni against an SA Invitation XI it was an unlikely catalyst for Shamsi’s entire career to change.
The tourists had plundered 508 off the home attack but Samuels was sufficiently impressed by the left-arm wrist-spinner who took three for 106 in 26.1 overs, including dismissing Shivnarine Chanderpaul for a second-ball duck, that he recommended him when his Caribbean Premier League team, St Kitts & Nevis, needed a replacement spinner.
Performing well on that big stage gave the man who had begun his career as a journeyman with Gauteng and the Dolphins the confidence he needed, and since then Shamsi has played for a number of high-profile T20 teams, including the Bangalore Royal Challengers. He has become arguably the Titans’ greatest white-ball weapon.
He was the leading wicket-taker in both the 2017/18 Momentum One-Day Cup (26 @ 14.84, economy 4.50) and RamSlam T20 Challenge (16 wickets, economy 7.00) – and also made a valuable contribution in the triumphant Sunfoil Series campaign, taking 13 wickets in three matches.
His Momentum One-Day Cup display included one of the greatest wicket-taking runs in South African day/night cricket history as he took 20 wickets in six games.
Although Shamsi has all the varieties an unorthodox spinner could want, what sets him apart is his control, which allows him to create pressure on batsmen in limited-overs cricket, forcing them to take a risk when they’re not entirely sure what the ball is going to do. He won the prestigious Titans Players’ Player of the Year award in 2017/18, and the Johannesburg-born player who turns 30 in February is sure to add to the 15 ODIs, 14 T20s and just the two Tests he has played for South Africa.