Batsman’s passion from India

Senior Pakshal Shah played cricket in his homeland and now bats and bowls on an Inland Empire team.


Senior Pakshal Shah said that he was inspired to play cricket by Team India’s captain, Virat Kohli. Shah has played for various SoCal teams.

Calvin Ru, Photo Editor

The ball is thrown and the batsman pops it up. Everything happens in slow motion as Diamond Bar High School senior Pakshal Shah moves in to intercept the ball before it hits the ground. With outstretched arms, he feels the stitched leather of the cricket ball pressing into his hands as he grips it and hits the ground hard. Shah opened his eyes and sees his teammates cheering, realizing he had just won the game.

Shah recounted his most memorable match, one of the last cricket games he played in India, which, consequently, won his team the annual interschool tournament in Mumbai.

“It’s not just a sport for me: it’s much more. It’s about the passion I have for the game, and it has everything from excitement to technique to raw adrenaline and sometimes even crazy luck,” Shah said.

Born in India, an avid cricket nation, Shah was ecstatic to support his nation during all-cricket competitions. Shah, like many others, was inspired by team India’s current captain, Virat Kohli, stating that his plays were mesmerizing.

After moving from India in ninth grade, Shah said he instantly went on a search for a local cricket team, eventually joining Inland Empire, a Division II cricket team.

Unlike baseball, cricket utilizes two batsmen who stand on opposite ends of a 22-yard rectangular strip placed in the middle of the ovular field. Rather than running past bases, batsmen run back and forth to score points if the ball doesn’t touch the border. On defense, cricket has one bowler, or pitcher, who aims for the wicket posts behind the batter, and eleven fielders. Cricket is played on an ovular field in which the batsman’s objective is to hit the ball past the border.

The senior explained that as batter, he focuses on scoring points fast. While some batters strategically spin their balls to specific locations on the field, he utilizes a different approach by sending the ball down the field with his powerful swings.

“When I watch the ball come towards me, there’s a lot of things going on in my head. The last thing is: what’s the quickest way to end the game so I can go home and catch some sleep? So I hit the ball as hard as I can and let it do its thing,” Shah said.