Wednesday Mar 08, 2023
ISLAMABAD: Lahore Qalandars’ young pace sensation Zaman Khan feels that he doesn’t need anyone else as he is now under the guidance and mentorship of Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Talking to Geo News on Wednesday, the 21-year-old said that he used to idolise Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, and Malinga, but now "I am under Shaheen Afridi’s wings and I don't feel the need to turn to someone else for learning".
“As a child, when I was playing tape ball cricket, I used to watch Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar and wished to play for Pakistan like them. I’ve also followed Sri Lankan legend Lastith Malinga for my bowling,” he said.
“Since last year, I have been with Shaheen, who has been guiding me on everything and since I came under his wings, I didn’t feel like watching anyone else’s videos,” Zaman said.
The fast bowler from Mirpur Azad Kashmir was picked by Lahore Qalandars for the seventh season of PSL and he played an important role in the team’s first-ever title win with his bowling.
Though he played five T20 games in late 2021 for the Northern region, his actual fame arrived when he donned the Qalandars’ shirt in PSL.
Zaman said that he is happy to be in the company of Haris Rauf and Shaheen and their presence in the dugout allows him to adopt new skills and improve his game.
The 21-year-old, who has taken 48 wickets in 38 T20s, acknowledged that playing in PSL has helped him improve his game a lot.
“I’ve got to understand how to handle match pressure and how to read the game,” he mentioned.
“I keep on working to improve my death overs bowling, even if it is the off-season I work on my bowling, I practice to bowl Yorkers, slower-ones and slow-bouncers with new and old balls,” Zaman said.
Zaman recalled how he was once declared overage in U19 cricket and his dreams of playing cricket were almost shattered but his brother encouraged him not to lose hope as his cricket was important for improving the family’s conditions.
“Those were very difficult times,” he recalled.
Replying to a question, Zaman said that the dressing room culture of Lahore Qalandars is the best and everyone is like a family.
“Even if you lose the game, they will not make you feel like a side that has been beaten, they will tell you to keep your chin up — that’s the best thing about this team,” he said.
“I don’t feel like going to any other franchise after being part of Qalandars,” he concluded.