When you speak to Dr. Fawad J. Khan, M.D. about his experience of playing youth cricket in Pakistan, elation in his voice is quite noticeable.
“Cricket was the main game,” says the 43-year old Cardio-thoracic Surgeon from Salisbury, Maryland. “Squash and field hockey were popular. But the people of Pakistan really love their cricket.”
Dr. Khan developed a passion for the sport through his father, who played at the University and Professional levels in Pakistan. His father, Dr. Jahangir Khan, PhD is a retired professor of Public Health & Hospital Administration in Pakistan. He played professional level cricket at Murray College in Sialkot, Pakistan and Government College in Lahore, Pakistan.
As a youth in Pakistan, Dr. Fawad Khan played what would be the equivalent of little league and school cricket, but eventually turned his focus to his studies. Now, Dr. Khan is blessed with an opportunity to pass his love of cricket along to his two sons - Ibrahim, a 16-year old junior at Worcester Preparatory School and Feroze, a 13-year old eighth grader at Worcester Prep in Berlin, Maryland.
“I enjoy teaching them the skills that my father passed on to me,” says Dr. Khan. “Watching them work at their craft of batting is very satisfying. It’s a bonding experience.”
Dr. Khan purchased a MaxBP Pro Machine in the spring and has found their practice sessions to be more rewarding than ever. According to Dr. Khan, in order to be successful as a cricket batsman, a player must adjust their body to the “line and length of the ball” - essentially where the ball bounces (length) and its final destination (line).
The father and his two boys have found that MaxBP Reaction Training delivers in replicating cricket bowlers of all types - right-handed, left-handed, fast bowlers and spinners - through the various pitch types featured with the MaxBP Pro pitching machine. Dr. Kahn has also found that the flexible tilt on the machine allows for the opportunity to imitate a variety of lengths. The ability to recognize a various bowler types is essential to a players success on the cricket pitch, because unlike baseball, there are no second chances.
“There is no first or second strike in cricket. If the ball hits the wicket, you’re out,” says Dr. Khan. “That’s why it is so important to have the proper mechanics and develop muscle memory. It allows the batter to have the hand-eye coordination and balance to hit the ball on the sweet spot.”
Dr. Khan is a firm believer that muscle memory and hand-eye coordination are developed through hard work and practice, which is exactly why he is so excited about his new MaxBP Pro machine. Traditionally, the father and his boys venture down to a local tennis court to set up their MaxBP (which takes them about five minutes) and they can practice drills all day; however, on the occasions when Dr. Khan is unable to accompany them, they still have the opportunity to practice on their own.
“There is never an excuse to miss practice” says Khan with a laugh.
According to Dr. Khan, the popularity of cricket in America continues to grow, particularly in Texas, Florida and the Northeast; however, the opportunity to play at the college level or professionally in the United States is currently not an option.
Dr. Kahn has always had the desire to revisit his cricket days, and it's exciting to imagine his boys following in the footsteps of their grandfather by playing cricket professionally. Although, a more realistic goal might be for the boys to develop the skill to play on a club team in a major city or at a university. It’s a challenging aspiration, but with their newest training tool, along with hard work and determination, the father and his two sons know the opportunity is attainable.
“With MaxBP you can get as many reps as you want and learn how to play the game properly,” says Dr. Khan. “You can bat as much as your heart desires.”