Shan Masood has dedicated his day one century at Bristol to his mentor and former Gloucestershire favourite Zaheer Abbas.

Yorkshire’s captain has revealed that the Pakistan batting great has been a huge influence on his own career, and how his first trip to play at Bristol had extra meaning.

Masood helped Yorkshire recover from 90-5 to 326 all out with a brilliant 140 before seeing Gloucestershire close on 28-2 in reply.

“This is my first time in Bristol,” said Yorkshire’s overseas star.

“My brother’s been here for University, and the great Zaheer Abbas, who’s a mentor to me and like a godfather, he’s been unwell over the last year or so. But he’s recovered.

“It’s at a place where he played a lot of cricket and scored a lot of runs, so it’s a special place.

Zaheer Abbas

Picture by Stu Forster/Getty Images. Zaheer Abbas (l) is honoured at the Seat Unique Stadium.

“I can maybe give him a call and say, ‘This one’s for you’.”

Abbas, now 76, scored 23,742 runs in all cricket for Gloucestershire between 1972 and 1985. 

In terms of Masood’s own spell in county cricket, it’s also going pretty well. Of course, he starred for Derbyshire in the summer of 2022 and is now impressing for Yorkshire.

This was his third century in nine Championship matches wearing the white rose.

And this latest one came off the back of a first-innings duck against Leicestershire at Headingley last week.

“Gibbo and Ali have been on my case to leave a few balls,” smiled Masood, referring to his mode of dismissal against the Foxes – caught in the slips off Ben Mike. 

Shan Masood

Picture by YCCC. Shan Masood speaks to the media at Bristol this evening following his first day 140.

“The way Gloucestershire bowled up front, they bowled really well, and it forced you to leave the good balls that they were pitching up. It was nibbling a bit. There was quite a lot of movement. 

“Movement through the air, you can play as a batsmen, but when it’s nipping around off the pitch you have to give it respect.

“I think the coaches would have been proud that I left a few more balls than last week when I ended up having a waft at a wide one.”

On today’s performance, Masood continued: “Sometimes you have to put your hands up and say that the opposition bowled well in the first session. 

“I don’t really think there were a lot of false shots we could debate over. 

“There were some really good balls. I think Ajeet Singh Dale, especially from that end (Ashley Down Road End), was their most consistent bowler.

Shan Masood

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Shan Masood celebrates his day one ton.

Masood said that he would have bowled first upon winning the toss and is confident Yorkshire’s bowlers can now make their mark tomorrow.

“It was their first game of the season, and we wanted to have a bowl to put their batsmen under pressure,” he added. 

“There was enough there. You can see by the grass on the surface and the colour of the soil that it was heavily watered. There’s been weather around, and you expect that at this time of the season.”

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