Parth Shah is an electrical engineer who recently turned 30.
This week he’s working on a mine site in outback NSW, around eight hours from home at Charlestown.
Saturday, it seems, remains firmly at the forefront of his mind.
“As long as I make it back for cricket that’s the main thing,” Shah said.
The right-arm paceman has delivered countless overs for the Magpies since joining the club as a teenager in 2002-2003 and couldn’t envisage being anywhere else.
“I’ve been there since I was 15,” Shah, who played juniors at Adamstown, said.
“My brother [Jwalit] played for the club and a couple of years later I started at Charlestown as well.
“It’s a great place, a great club and I’ve never seen the the need to leave.”
During his career with the boys in black and white, Shah has played in first grade finals across all three formats featuring a Tom Locker Cup crown from 2009-2010.
Three club championships have been collected in that same period while two-day, T20 and minor premierships have eluded him.
He rates the current 2017-2018 squad, sitting fourth on the Newcastle District Cricket Association ladder with four two-day matches remaining in the regular season, quite highly.
“It’s one of the better sides I’ve played in, especially compared to the past five-to-seven years,” Shah said.
“We’ve got really good depth at our club with a lot of quality young guys pushing for first grade so that’s helping massively.”
Such was the competition for spots, in round three Shah was dropped to seconds for the first time in a decade.
He responded the only way he knows how – by taking wickets.
Twenty-seven in fact across six outings, including a 50-over title and senior-best bowling figures of 8-81 from another innings in late November.
Coupled with the mid-season departure of first-class import Saliya Salan, back to Sri Lanka with his wife and young child, Shah was recalled for Charlestown.
There have been 10 victims from four appearances, featuring 5-25 just before Christmas, and he’s also contributed 108 runs, made up mostly staving off an outright loss to Wests last start.
“I started the season pretty slowly and the first couple of games I wasn’t really getting wickets, but other guys were,” Shah said.
“We’re pretty strong this year and I played a few games in twos. I pretty much had to force my way back with wickets.
“That was good and it was probably what I needed. It helped me in the short term and hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the season.”
Shah lives just a “couple of minutes away” from Kahibah Oval.
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