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Tuesday Jan 28 2020

All-rounder Aliya Riaz aims to 'use past experience' to excel in Women's World T20

Aliya Riaz (C) celebrates with teammates.—File photo

KARACHI: Pakistan women cricket team's all-rounder Aliya Riaz has set her eyes on giving a memorable performance in next month's International Cricket Council (ICC) Women World T20 in Australia.

Aliya, 27, is known for her flamboyant batting and fiery bowling, and is one of the experienced campaigners in the 15-member squad for the World T20.

The all-rounder knows that there's a huge responsibility on her shoulders and that's why she is working hard in the Pakistani team camp, which is underway in Karachi.

"The World Cup is an important event. The jersey we are wearing motivates us. Wearing the Pakistan shirt brings responsibility on our shoulders which also encourages us to do well," she said.

Aliya has represented Pakistan in 27 ODIs and 38 T20Is, and is among the few in Pakistan women's cricket who can comfortably hit the ball over the boundary.

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"I am excited about the World Cup. I have experience of playing World Cup in past and I will try to use my experience and apply what I've learned from my past participation to do well for the country.

"We have practiced well in the camp, keeping in view the possible conditions there," she said.

"I am an all-rounder. I want to do well with bat and ball for my team and that's my target in the World Cup," Aliya added.

The hard-hitting batter added that she aims to keep the strike rate high and score as much as she can in the least number of balls.

"Maybe that can also help me achieve a record of quickest fifty or a quickest hundred but more than that, I want to bat with higher strike rate every time I am in middle for my team," she said.

"We are working hard on power hitting and practicing on cement wickets as well to improve our power hitting," she highlighted.

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The all-rounder further said that the team announced for the Women's World T20 is a blend of experienced players and youngsters, terming it a "very good combination."

She added that the players have worked hard on overcoming their weaknesses and everyone in the squad has the ability to surprise their opponents.

"Fast bowling department has become competitive. Saleem Jaffer is working hard with us to improve our bowling skills," Aliya said.

"We used to lack in the fielding department previously but now we have improved a lot. 

"Another problem faced by us was sudden batting collapse after a good start and I can tell you that we have also worked to overcome that issue," she added.