Time Tuesday Jan 25 2022

PSL 2022: Gladiators in good shape to lift trophy, says Sarfaraz Ahmed

KARACHI: Once the blue-eyed boy of Pakistan cricket, Sarfaraz Ahmed is currently out of sight as far as the Pakistan team is concerned, but the wicket-keeper batter is confident of getting the limelight once again with a remarkable performance in the upcoming PSL. 

He says that his side, the Quetta Gladiators, are in "good shape to lift [the] PSL trophy".

The champions’ trophy-winning captain told Geo News in an interview that domestic tournaments are always important for those who want to make a comeback and those who want to earn a place in the national team, and he’s looking forward to doing well in the PSL.

Sarfaraz Ahmed is also confident of a good show by the Gladiators. 

"Firstly, for me, the team’s cause is more important than personal goals. So, it is important for me that Quetta wins the tournament and I contribute to Quetta’s success," he said. 

"As I’ve always said, domestic tournaments are important for players to get noticed. I consider the PSL an important tournament for me and I will try my best to do well in the league," he said. 

Sarfaraz said that his team, Quetta Gladiators, has a good blend of experienced players and youngsters. 

"We made some good picks in the player draft and then had some good trades. We have Shahid Afridi, James Vince, Jason Roy, and Sohail Tanvir, along with the likes of James Faulkner, who is a very good T20 cricketer. So, it’s a good blend. As a team, we’ll try to get the maximum advantage of the experienced players available to our team," he said. 

"Shahid Afridi has said that this would be his last PSL, I want him to end his PSL career on a high note and wish that he guides Quetta Gladiators to victory in the tournament before hanging his boots," Sarfaraz said. 

Responding to a question, the Gladiators’ captain said that he considers each member of his side a match winner, hence he can’t single out any player as a trump card. He added that Viv Richards is also likely to join Quetta’s squad this time.

"Sir Viv’s presence is always important for us, especially when the team is down. His lessons are always motivating for us," Sarfaraz said about the West Indian legend, who is also the mentor of the Quetta Gladiators from the inaugural edition of the PSL. 

In terms of his own comeback strategy, Sarfraz stated that he has left it up to fate and is simply waiting for the right opportunity while focusing on performing in whatever cricket he is given.

"As a cricketer, my job is to perform wherever I've got the opportunity, rest is up to my fate, if the chance is written for me, I will get it," he said. 

"I’ve no problems in sitting on a bench, I don’t make it an ego issue. I was humble when I was captain, I am humble when I am out of the team. The lesson my seniors taught me was that ups and downs are very regular in Pakistan's cricket, so it is important for one to remain grounded," Sarfaraz said.

The Quetta Gladiators captain also responded to criticism of his style of captaincy, in which he was seen shouting at colleagues. 

"When you see a match slipping out of your hands from a strong position, you naturally get angry, but that’s only on the field. People probably have noticed it now, but that’s my style and those who’ve played with me know it well, but, whatever happens on the ground, finishes on the ground," Sarfaraz said. 

He also praised the Pakistan cricket team for their remarkable performance in the year 2021 and congratulated all the players who won the ICC Awards for their cricketing brilliance in the year.

The former Pakistan captain specially mentioned Fatima Sana’s achievement and termed it something extraordinary for Pakistan Cricket.

"Fatima Sana’s award is very special and she deserves a special accolade because women's cricket in Pakistan is very limited and to see a woman from Pakistan win an award is a very remarkable thing. This will boost the confidence of other girls as well," Sarfaraz said. 

"Pakistan’s performance was also at the top of the tournament and the ICC awards reflect how dominating Pakistan's team was in the year 2021, I am hopeful that Pakistan will continue to play like this in years to come," he said. 

He also hoped that the Pakistan cricket team would do well against Australia.

"It is true that Australia has done well recently, but it was their home ground and this will be ours. We know how to play cricket here and what the wickets will be. We did well against South Africa as well, and I am sure we’ll do well against Australia as well," Sarfaraz hoped.