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Upbeat Fakhar, Shadab eye memorable debut against WI

Upbeat Fakhar, Shadab eye memorable debut against WI

LAHORE: Uncapped batsman Fakhar Zaman and bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan are upbeat about their inclusion in ODI and T20 sides, vowing to make their debut a memorable one during the upcoming West Indies tour.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Fakhar who was accompanied by 19-year-old Shadab said that he had achieved his first target of making it to the Pakistan team which, he added, was his great desire.

“It is a great feeling to represent Pakistan at the international level. I will do my level-best to come up to the expectations of selectors and the nation,” Fakhar maintained while stating that he will seek to cement his place in the national team by throwing up fine performance.

Answering a question, Fakhar said it was unfortunate that Pakistan had not been playing cricket on their home soil for the last so many years, stating that playing before home crowd was the only means to test young players’ mettle ahead of their inclusion in the national side.

“I have been playing for the Pakistan ‘A’ team but not before the home crowd due to which my performance was not highlighted,” commented the young top-order batsman who stated that “playing out of the country could not be matched with playing before the home crowd.”

Selectors were impressed with the performance of both Fakhar and Shadab in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League which saw Fakhar who played for Lahore Qalandars play eight matches while scoring 177 at an average of 22.13.

Fakhar said it was a great experience to play in the PSL for Lahore Qalandars since, adding it provided him an opportunity to share the dressing room with great players like former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Grant Elliot.

The young top-order batsman whose favorite cricketer is South African middle-order batsman A. B. de Villiers said the only target in his mind was to make a memorable debut in the West Indies, adding he was not feeling any pressure ahead of the West Indies tour as he was undergoing training in the camp under able coaching staff headed by Mickey Arthur.

On the other hand, Shadab who played for Islamabad United in the PSL said he was a bowling all-rounder and would try to meet demands of the team in all departments of the game.

He said he wanted to give outstanding performance in the upcoming West Indies tour to help Pakistan improve ODI ranking.

Shadab said though currently he had been focusing on his performance in the upcoming West Indies tour, he planned to complete his education stating he had already passed his intermediate examination.

Talking about his bowling skills, he said: “Former spinner Mushtaq Ahmad has worked with him at the National Cricket Academy to bring improvement in his bowling.”

“My target during the West Indies tour is to be declared the best bowler of the series,” Shadab said, adding he had learned from Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq how to perform well in crucial moments.

He said it was a great moment for him when he got his first wicket of Kamran Akmal in the PSL.

Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2017

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