21 Nov 2018

The dream lives on for Ajaz Patel and his family

7:10 am on 21 November 2018

The New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel says the support for him following his Test debut has been non-stop and it is reward for his decision to not give up on his dream.

Ajaz Patel congratulated by team-mates.

Ajaz Patel congratulated by team-mates. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Patel took five wickets in the second innings as New Zealand won the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi by four runs.

While he did have some family watching him from the ground, the majority were back home in Napier.

He says it was special to see the reaction of his family back home.

"When we got the final wicket my sister happened to take a video of the house, that was a very very special and emotional thing for me to witness because my family has put in a lot of effort and a lot of sacrifice along with me to get to where I am and to see the emotions that they had when that final wicket was taken that was something special and I'm sure they've been thoroughly enjoying it as well."

Ajaz Patel and Kane Williamson.

Ajaz Patel and Kane Williamson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

30 year old Patel, arrived in New Zealand from India as an eight year old and he never gave up on his dream of playing a Test.

"To be honest that thought hadn't quite crept into my mind just yet, for me personally I had a lot of self belief and a lot of belief in my own ability and I believe in my work ethic and I try to work as hard as I can to be the best cricketer I can be and I always had that belief that at some point in my career I want to be playing for New Zealand and that was the dream that I wasn't quite ready to sideline."

Ajaz Patel bowling for Central Districts.

Ajaz Patel bowling for Central Districts. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Patel and the rest of the squad head to Dubai later today for the start of the second test on Saturday.

"I think that everyone is well aware that we've still got two games left in the series as well and even though it's a great start, we've still got to make sure we back up for the next two games and put in a good performance so we can take the series home."

Pakistan have lost just one Test series in their last 11 in the UAE.