Turning Failure into Success - The Shahbaz Choudhry Story - The India Saga



Turning Failure into Success – The Shahbaz Choudhry Story

Typically, cricket coaches at the highest level have something in common, they’re known for their illustrious stats from years of…

Turning Failure into Success – The Shahbaz Choudhry Story

Typically, cricket coaches at the highest level have something in common, they’re known for their illustrious stats from years of dominating at professional level. But the exceptional case of Shahbaz Choudhry shows how he bucked the trend. He’s not someone with years of experience at the highest level or someone with a decorated stats pack but he is someone with decades of experience and invaluable wisdom.


Growing up playing youth county cricket in England, Shahbaz signed his first and only professional contract with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club in 2009. Known for his pace and hunger to make it to the top, his ambition contributed to his success, but lack of guidance contributed to his demise.


“One thing that really derailed my progress was my overambitious nature. I was constantly chopping and changing my bowling action. I was always in pursuit of the perfect technique. Looking back, I understood that fast bowling and generating speed is an art and a science. You must adhere to the science but respect the artistry of the craft as well. By putting all of my eggs into the basket of technique, I lost my natural flare of bowling and subsequently lost my ability to bowl at all. At the time, I had a lot of help in terms of what I needed to do to improve but no one really warned me of the pitfalls that I could potentially fall into”.


Shahbaz, went through a dark and tumultuous phase of his life during the years between 2012 – 2017 where he fell out of love with the game. Something he claims is a commonality amongst hungry and aspiring cricketers who never made it.


“Sport is incredibly tough. Often, the damage isn’t physical, it’s mental. I know players who grew up sacrificing absolutely everything to try and make it. They didn’t focus on education or any other trade skill that they could fall back on. Making it as a pro cricketer was the only aim. If it doesn’t happen for them, they have nowhere to turn and nothing else to do. It’s like having to rediscover yourself and build yourself back up again from scratch”.


In 2018, Shahbaz founded a platform, Pace Journal which has gone on to become the largest fast bowling resource in the world. By working exclusively with some of the biggest names in the sport such as Jofra Archer, Ishant Sharma, Lockie Ferguson and Kyle Jamieson to name just a few, Pace Journal reports the inside story of the trials and tribulations that players at the top go through. For Shahbaz, the need for this type of content was immense.


“People can be very naïve. Especially youngsters. When you hear advice from someone who hasn’t made it, you don’t always take them seriously. The reason I created Pace Journal was so that every player and coach, whether amateur or professional, would take the advice seriously. If a local club bowler is telling you that changing your action all the time isn’t a good idea, you might ignore it. But if an international bowler is telling you the same thing, you might take it on board. I wanted to bring a degree of credibility to the advice we were sharing with our content”.


Since its launch, Pace Journal has seen a prompt growth and even attracted some of the biggest names in the world of cricket to the platform. In 2020, Pace Journal announced the signing of Tymal Mills as an official partner and ambassador of the brand.


Alongside the daily operation of Pace Journal, Shahbaz now coaches amateur and professional fast bowlers around the world, allowing them to benefit from his years of experience whilst preventing them from making the same rookie errors that destroy the progress of talented fast bowlers.