When Haseeb Hameed registered his second century of the match for Nottinghamshire in the County Championship game against Worcestershire last week, the dressing room and the country was bursting with pleasure for a young man who was treated unkindly by the cricketing gods. Plucked for the 2016 tour of India as a 19-year-old after an impressive season with Lancashire, Hameed impressed everyone. But a succession of injuries and a baffling lack of form meant he was first dropped, then sacked, by Lancashire, a move that precipitated a new start at Trent Bridge.
In the truncated summer of 2020 he held steady and was appointed vice-captain at the start of this season, and his first-innings 111 was his first century for Nottinghamshire and only his second since 2016. He talked about the tough moments- breaking a second finger in nine months and the third surgery all requiring six weeks of rehab, and then the following season he could average only nine runs.
“Being let go by my home club was tough. But in those tough moments I have been lucky to find something deep inside me that doesn’t let me give up and urges me to try one more time.” How would he advise that young man who was thrust into the spotlight in India? “I’d say part of it is not to rush too much, just enjoy the journey. You have your ambitions and aspirations, but just let everything happen in good time. Once you’ve had that exposure to the international scene as a young boy you also have lots of different people giving you different advice, so I’d say just hold firm to what got you there.”
He still has affection for Lancashire, a club he joined as a nine-year-old. “I had mostly absolutely wonderful years. I was very lucky to be part of a very strong age group side with Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Callum Parkinson. And going on to achieve what I was able to achieve as a 19-year-old was extremely special, so my overriding emotion is it will always have a special place for me in my heart, and I guess home is home, but it is time for a new journey and a new chapter in my life and I’m lucky enough to have found that here in Nottinghamshire.”