Safyaan Sharif will be an “inspiration” to young Fife cricketers after his weekend heroics against England, according to the chairman of his home club.
The popular all-rounder sealed a historic six-run victory for Scotland in Edinburgh by trapping Mark Wood lbw, catapulting the 27-year-old to national and international fame.
Sharif plays his club cricket with Glenrothes when he’s not on one-day or T20 duty with Derbyshire and Scotland, and Kenny Crichton believes the Fife game – and the Scottish game – couldn’t ask for a better role model to grow the sport.
“Saffy is an inspiration in Fife,” said the club chairman.
“That isn’t just at Glenrothes. This is his third year with us and he’s come on leaps and bounds in that time but he’s played at Largo and Falkland and is very well thought of there as well.
“He’s taken every opportunity that has come his way.
“Saffy has taken two of the biggest wickets in Scottish cricket history – the West Indies’ Chris Gayle first ball and now that wicket against England last ball.
“There will have been people watching cricket for the first time on Sunday and a lot of us never thought we would see a day like that.
“What Saffy and the rest of the team did will have made a big impression. Hopefully others will want to follow his lead and that this is the start of something big.”
Sharif, who will now play T20 internationals for Scotland against Pakistan, was snapped up by Derbyshire for their white ball season.
But there is no doubting his commitment to Glenrothes.
“Saffy is our captain and he’ll think nothing of playing for Derbyshire on the Friday and then make the eight-hour drive up the road to play for us on the Saturday,” said Crichton.
“His club is as much in his heart as his country.
“We’ve been struggling a bit so far this season as it’s been a bit of a transition period and we haven’t been able to call upon Saffy too often.
“But when we get him back for the second half of the season, I’m sure we’ll start moving up the table.”