Friday Feb 21, 2020
KARACHI: Former PSl champion and Peshawar Zalmi’s skipper, Darren Sammy, and Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim on Thursday expressed confidence in their abilities to start the PSL 2020 with a win.
Sammy said that inclusion of former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik in the squad would give stability to the middle order, reported The News.
“Shoaib brings stability to the middle order. Peshawar, unfortunately, heavily relied on the top order in the past. In first two seasons myself, Afridi and Pollard were there in the deep but to have that stability in the middle gives our team an edge where we could go out and play much more freely,” Sammy told a news conference here at National Stadium on Thursday.
Zalmi will face Karachi Kings in their opener today here at National Stadium. “Shoaib is an experienced player and also has served as captain and that makes my job easier. We are more than happy to have him in our line-up,” Sammy said.
He said that the best bowling unit of the PSL would win the tournament. “The pitches in Pakistan create a lot of excitement and I see the best bowling team will win this tournament,” said Sammy, who led the West Indies to two T20 world titles.
Sammy’s fitness was a concern for Zalmi in the previous two editions as he was even seen limping on the pitch several times. But he says he is now fully fit and will contribute in both batting and bowling. “I missed bowling in the last two PSL editions because two years ago I got injured. Coming back to full fitness was a bit of an issue."
"If you check my record in the PSL you can really question that. I did what I was suppose to do as a leader and as low order finisher for the team. I feel really good and fully fit and that includes both bowling and batting,” Sammy said.
“Whenever the team will need me in bowling I will bowl there and will continue my role as a finisher in batting. You are right. CPL was not the best but I don’t dwell in the past. I always look forward to the future,” he said.
Sammy said he was excited to be part of PSL once again. “I remember in 2017 when the final was held in Lahore, it was a small step to have cricket back in Pakistan. It was the first shot. And today the entire tournament is being held here,” he said.
“It shows that the PSL has a positive impact on Pakistan’s cricket and fans deserve to see their local and international players. I am very eager to start tomorrow,” Sammy said.
“Over the years we have played well. One thing about Peshawar team is when we pick up the team we all hold meeting and discuss our plans and strategies. Coach Akram has done a fairly good job in putting the team together. Our team is a mixture of exciting youngsters and experienced players and hopefully we will do well,” Sammy said.
He said that he has great love for Pakistan. “Not just me but all guys who have come here have shown their support to Pakistan,” he said. “In the World XI game Andrew Duplessie, Hashim Amla and all the guys came and all other teams who have come here . . . they support Pakistan. It’s good that my contribution is being recognised,” Sammy said.
Karachi Kings skipper Imad Wasim on Thursday said that his team is balanced and would try to take a good start against Peshawar Zalmi in their opening match today, The News reported.
“No doubt Peshawar are a very good side but we also have a solid combination and we will try to deliver tomorrow,” Imad told a news conference here on Thursday. “It’s not difficult to name a single player as every player of our pool has a role in the team. I hope that Sharjeel makes a comeback,” Imad said.
Imad stressed that taking a solid start was very important. “Obviously Karachi is our home. I really enjoyed cricket here last year. All players, particularly the overseas, are very excited. It’s important to take a solid start in the first game of the event to tell the competing teams how good we are,” Imad said.
He said Karachi’s wicket was always good. “In Karachi the pitch is always good as here matches are high-scoring. Today’s game between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators will show exactly what will happen as most probably our game will also be on the same wicket,” the allrounder said.