Friday, February 17, 2023
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Lahore Qalandars' Shai Hope glad to be behind wicket while facing Shaheen Afridi

"It is just about learning from the better T20 players around the world trying to improve my game," says West Indian skipper

Lahore Qalandars´ Shai Hope (C) plays a shot during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket match between Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars at Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan on February 13, 2023. — AFP
Lahore Qalandars´ Shai Hope (C) plays a shot during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket match between Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars at Multan Cricket Stadium in Multan on February 13, 2023. — AFP 

KARACHI: Shai Hope, the recently appointed captain of the West Indies cricket team, is hopeful of learning and sharing experiences and knowledge during his maiden Pakistan Super League (PSL) season.

The 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batter was picked by Lahore Qalandars for PSL 2023. Hope is glad that, for a change, he is behind the wicket and not in front of the wickets while facing a formidable bowler like Shaheen Shah Afridi.

“It's nice to be behind the stump this time, instead of being in front of it. I always embrace the challenge whenever I face these guys, but it's nice to be in the same dressing room with them. They really have some fire behind them. So, it's great to be playing together with them,” he said.

Lahore Qalandars Shai Hope glad to be behind wicket while facing Shaheen Afridi

“It's good to be on the winning side, obviously, I think that like I told Shaheen and the other guys, it's nice to be behind the stumps for once instead of facing him for the first over. 

"So its just nice to be here involved with the whole PSL first and foremost. But it's a great match to start my PSL career. And hopefully, we can continue as a team,” he said about his first match in which his side defeated Multan by one run.

The West Indian player said that this was the first time he was playing in the PSL and that the tournament was just about getting that experience. He added that he was thankful to Lahore Qalandars for giving him the opportunity.

“It is just about learning from better T20 players around the world and trying to improve my game, developing as best as I can,” he said about his aims.

“I just want to be the best Shai Hope that I can be. I think developing my game in whatever areas I can and trying to find ways to improve if I can help someone along the way as well because all about sharing your experience sharing your knowledge and trying to pull everyone along with you. So the key is to enjoy the experience and then share it with someone else,” the West Indian cricketer said.

Talking about Lahore Qalandars’ dugout environment, the Barbados-born player said that it was 10 out of 10 for him. “Hopefully we can continue as a team, get some more wins, and continue this momentum,” he mentioned.

Replying to a question, Hope said that he has only played in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), so he cannot really comment on other leagues as compared to the PSL but he has always heard great things about Pakistan's league.

“Hearing from my other teammates, my colleagues back in Barbados and around the West Indies, who have played in the PSL, they all talk about the quality of cricket that's here. 

"I think the standard is very high. You guys set a very high standard here in Pakistan, it's about trying to learn as much as they can from here and develop my career as best as I can,” he said.

Hope, just a day after his involvement in Lahore Qalandars’ win against Multan Sultans, was named captain of the West Indian ODI side.

Speaking about his new role, the 29-year-old said that he is ready to embrace the challenge.

“I think we need to take responsibility as players. We've been playing for quite some time. Having a captain hat now is just about transferring that knowledge that I've had over the years, giving my teammates the confidence and the encouragement to go out there and perform at their best,” he said.

“It is the start of a new journey, and hopefully I can do the best and make sure West Indies cricket is proud,” he concluded.