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Tuesday Jan 19 2021
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Pak vs SA: Pacer Tabish Khan determined after finally being named in national squad

Fast bowler Tabish Khan celebrates after taking a wicket. — Photo by author/File
  • Tabish earns a Pakistan call at 36 after being among the top performers in domestic seasons for years
  • “It was unbelievable," says the fast bowler on being named in the national squad
  • “If you’re fit, performing, and determined to do well, then age is just a number," he adds


KARACHI: Fast bowler Tabish Khan — who was finally picked by selectors for Pakistan’s Test squad against South Africa — feels that advancing age cannot be viewed as a hurdle by someone determined to do well and thus aims at keeping himself fit.

Tabish earned a Pakistan call at the age of 36 after being among top performers in domestic seasons for years. He was named in the 20-member squad for the series against South Africa.

The Karachi-based fast bowler said on Tuesday that he couldn’t believe when he first heard that he was named in the national squad.

Read more: Tabish Khan still being ignored despite consistent bowling form

“It was unbelievable; first my friend told me and I thought he must be joking or might have been misled by a fake social media post. But, after a few moments, I saw it on TV and it was a very emotional moment for me and my family,” Tabish told media during an online press conference.

“I don’t have words to explain what it meant to me,” Tabish said, who has 598 wickets to his credit in 137 First-Class matches.

The fast bowler made his FC debut in 2002 but couldn’t impress selectors despite repeated seasons with remarkable numbers.

Read more: Pakistan men’s cricket team to arrive in Karachi via chartered flight

At 36, if Tabish manages to get himself among the final XI for the Karachi Test, he will be the oldest Pakistani fast bowler to make a Test debut and the only second oldest debutant ever for Pakistan after Miran Bakhsh.

Many feel that Tabish may not be as effective as any youngster would’ve been, due to his age. But Tabish disagrees.

“If you’re fit, performing, and determined to do well then age is just a number. Even a 19-year-old can get unfit, while a 40-year-old can bowl continuously. It is a matter of how you keep yourself motivated,” he said.

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“I have no idea what my bowling speed is at the moment, as I’ve not bowled with a speed gun for a while. Nevertheless, I don’t focus on speed and instead, try to swing the ball to disturb the batsmen. Like age, speed is just a number, you can remain wicketless despite bowling at 150kmph and you can still take 5-fers with a normal pace of 135kmph,” he said.

Replying to a question, Tabish said that although being named in the initial squad is a dream-come-true moment for him, he’s still half way to his target. He expressed confidence in getting a Test cap in Karachi.

Tabish highlighted that he has experience playing in Karachi and can play an important part if given the chance.

“I know the conditions here and have an idea of the wicket’s behaviour. So, I believe that I can take advantage of Karachi’s conditions if I am there in the final XI,” he said.