Monday Feb 22, 2021
KARACHI: Australian wicketkeeper Ben Dunk says he wants to make the Lahore Qalandars’ fans feel proud and put smiles on people’s face in this difficult time by helping his team win the trophy for the first time.
The 33-year-old Australian, who spoke to Geo News, said that he was hopeful of Lahore’s success in the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“I'm really excited,” he said when asked how eager he was for this year’s tournament.
“The buildups been quite intense. We had a couple of great days of training, obviously operating within the pandemic is a little bit tricky. But it was good to get out there today and play the first game of the tournament for us and get the win on the board,” he said.
Elaborating on the difficulties, players face due to the pandemic and restrictions of the bio-secure bubble, the aggressive batsman said that staying in a hotel room waiting for the bus to ground becomes very draining.
“I think it's extremely difficult for players at the moment, traveling around the world being in bio secure bubbles. Whilst we're very, very fortunate to be playing cricket, it does become quite draining, just being in your hotel room, not being able to explore cities or go for a swim in the pool or just do anything other than just sitting in your room waiting for cricket,” he said.
“People around the world are doing really, really tough and we feel very privileged. So, I don't want to complain too much. But I think since the PSL finals last year, I've had five or six days out of either quarantine or bubble. So, it does start to take a bit of a toll,” the Australian cricketer added.
However, Ben Dunk made it clear that it was not going to affect his game in the PSL and he is looking forward to performing well in this tournament as all his teammates are.
He said that the positive thing for Lahore Qalandars is that most of the players who contributed to last year’s good run were retained by the squad.
“Our combinations are really strong, we've got the similar kind of sort of combinations from last season with the addition of sort of Rashid Khan and a couple of others. So, what was successful for us last year will hopefully be successful for us again, this year,” he said.
Dunk says that last year’s game plan and the style of play used by the team will keep them in a good position.
“We just have to continue that momentum, we were close but unfortunately, we probably didn't play our best game in the final and we came off as second best but hopefully we will do better this time,” he said.
Recalling his career-best 99 not out for Qalandars against Karachi Kings last year, the Australian cricketer said that his team’s win was more important than scoring the century and the same will be the case again.
“I'd love to reach the three figures. But more importantly for me is that the team wins and like it did that night when I got 99 that was more important to get the win and to get the 100. So hopefully there's an opportunity for me to make 100 but more importantly, there's an opportunity for me to contribute to the team winning,” he expressed.
Dunk admitted that it’s been a tough year across the world but is hopeful that the Lahore team can put lots of smiles on the fans' faces and make them proud.