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Warwickshire has appointed a new High Performance Coach to work with exciting prospects in our Academy system and help them break into the senior sides.

Shaftab Ahmad Khalid, a former off-spinner with Worcestershire who’s represented England A, joins from the South Asian Cricket Academy (SACA).

He’ll predominantly work with teenagers in our boys and girls Academy and Emerging Player Programme (EPP) but will also help coach with senior teams.

And the 40-year-old from London, who now lives in Birmingham, has first-hand experience of the talent in the Club’s youth development set-up.

He said: “SACA has played against Warwickshire 2nd XI so I’ve seen what huge talent there is at the Club. I’m relishing the opportunity to bring on some of those promising spinners and see them develop into the second and first team.

“I’m delighted to be at Warwickshire with such tradition and with a youth system that’s hard to beat in English cricket.”

Shaftab started playing cricket aged four in Lahore, Pakistan but moved to England aged 10 as his father relocated to further his career as a nuclear scientist. 

He studied law at university, but his career pathway changed in 2003 when he trialled for Worcestershire. The then 20-year-old was a seam bowling prospect but, as Shaftab explained, he surprised the Pears coaches (and himself!) by turning to off-spin in the nets.

“I’d travelled from London to the trials in Evesham,” he said. “It was an early start and a long drive. I was shattered when we eventually landed so chose to bowl some off-spin as well.

“I’d bowled some spin when playing tape ball and in fun games but never bowled it seriously. They were impressed I could disguise a doosra and it caught out a few batters – and they offered me a contact that day.”

Shaftab took the wicket of South Africa great Graeme Smith when the tourists visited New Road in 2003 and returned his best county figures when taking seven wickets in a match against Northamptonshire later that summer.

In the same year he was selected for the England National Academy at Loughborough and an England A tour to India and Malaysia. He left Worcestershire in 2008 before taking up coaching in 2012.

Shaftab became Lead Performance Coach at Bedfordshire in 2018 and returned to Worcestershire as Academy coach before joining SACA at the start of this year as Assistant Coach and Spin Coach.

SACA has seen three players graduate from the Academy to gain professional cricket contracts but Shaftab is the first coach to progress to a first class county.

SACA Co-founder and Managing Director Tom Brown, said: “I’m delighted Shaftab’s become our first coaching graduate. 

“He’s been a major part of the SACA programme since the start and has already helped many players progress their game to the next level. I’m sure he can continue to do so at Warwickshire and wish him best of luck.” 

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