Focused Farid determined to get back onto international stage
Neil Drysdale (CricketEurope)
One of the more heartening aspects of the unfolding CSL season has been the return to prime form of Kasim Farid, whose splendid performances have helped propel Clydesdale advance towards the summit of the Western Premier competition.
At 26, these past couple of years have been thorny ones for the Titwood man; he suffered redundancy at work, and has subsequently started a business degree course at Paisley University, which means that he has to combine studying with sporting commitments. Yet, whether extolling the virtues of his Scotland colleague, Majid Haq, whose arrival has added fresh layers of steely professionalism to the Clydedale ranks, or applauding the often inventive captaincy of Zeeshan Bashir, Farid sounded in fine spirits when we spoke and remains determined to prove that he can make his mark on the international stage.
“My dream has always been to become a full-time cricketer, but you need to work, and you have to try and make sure you have something to fall back on, because you never know what is around the corner,” said Farid, who has represented Scotland at under-19 and under-23 level, and has posted renewed notice of his abilities with outstanding knocks of 57 and 83, which proved the catalyst for Clydesdale’s back-to-back wins over Ayr and Uddingston. “It has been a long time since I felt in such good fettle as I did in these matches, but I have trained hard whenever I can, there is an excellent spirit throughout the squad, and a lot of us have ambitions to play at a higher level.
“We made a disappointing start [to the CSL campaign] when we lost heavily against Dumfries and, though I wasn’t involved in that match, I saw the determination and desire among the boys to make sure we didn’t bat as poorly as that again. It was a bad collapse and we knew we had to raise our standards. But that is one of the qualities about this group of players – they have high standards and they know that you have to take one game at a time and not get ahead of yourself. Things have improved since then.”
Farid has no doubt about the influence of Haq in orchestrating the Glasgow side’s resurgence. The redoubtable off-spinner and increasingly prolific batsman has thrived since gaining a full-time contract with his country and has developed into a pivotal character, both at grassroots level and with the Saltires and Scotland. “Majid helps everybody, and he has taken a big interest in every aspect of the club, so that, whether encouraging the youngsters in the nets, or advising his team mates on the small things which can make a big difference, he is active in everything which goes on at Clydesdale,” said Farid. “His input is priceless and while he doesn’t make a big deal about it, I think that everybody is benefiting from his knowledge and experience of the game.”
Kasim and his colleagues were frustrated by the weather at the weekend – when they would reasonably have expected to overcome struggling Drumpellier – but they will be pitted against their city adversaries, West of Scotland, this Saturday, in what is bound to be a fiercely-fought derby, particularly considering the latter are at the summit of the table. “It should be tight, and there has always been a bit of history between us, but that keen rivalry simply adds excitement and spice to the fixture and I think you need a little bit of fire inside you,” said Farid. “They have done well to move to the top, but you can rest assured that we will be doing our very best to change that state of affairs.”
He realises that actions, not words, count in pushing himself back into the selectors’ gaze and has a refreshing attitude to embracing the challenge – “I have been in and out of the set-up, and it isn’t my call, but if I can do anything to raise my standards, I will, because I would love to be back in the Scotland squad,” - concluded Farid. It may be that he is one of the late developers who can still bring his myriad gifts to his country’s cause.