ISLAMABAD - Pakistan cricket team captain Zaheer Abbas Sunday termed Pakistan team a very balanced one for the coming tour of Sri Lanka. Zaheer said inclusion of Younus Khan has definitely boosted Pakistan chances. “He is a maestro and one of the finest middle order batsman country has ever produced. Hhe is highly experienced and could play anchor role in helping green caps inflict defeat on Lankan Tigers at their own backyard.”
Zaheer said selectors had done the right thing by including Younus in the ODI squad as he would provide the much-needed cover in the middle of the innings and being a match winner, he can still turn the entire complexion of the match single-handedly.
“I don't agree with some certain quarters who termed Pakistan team’s chances very bleak against Sri Lanka due to long rest from playing international cricket. The players are in perfect shape and had trained very hard in the National Cricket Academy. I don't feel any negligence on the part of the players after all they are highly professionals and can adjust to the conditions in a short span of time. This break could have hurt players if they were playing in different conditions but Sri Lankan conditions are almost identical to Pakistan.”
Zaheer said team is quite balanced. “Sarfraz Ahmed is a very good wicketkeeper and he had recently showed his class by keeping excellently behind the stumps and also scored some useful runs. Selectors must keep confidence in not only Sarfraz but also in other youngsters as well as youngsters need selectors backing and above all consistency as far as opportunities are concerned. If players were given the boost, they would not disappoint selectors and play key role in Pakistan cricket team’s future successes.”
Zaheer said there was a very good news for the cricketers of Sindh and especially surrounding areas of Karachi as the cricket academy in National Cricket Stadium was almost completed. “I have started to spend time in my office situated in the premises of the stadium. I had drafted a detailed report and suggestions and will soon deliver that to Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman. This academy will play a major role in providing future stars to national cricket team just like Karachi and adjacent areas were known as the nursery of future players, but unfortunately for the last few years, Karachi players were not getting as many chances as they were getting in the past. Now after the inauguration of the academy, this situation will certainly change and players will come thick and fast, who one day represent Pakistan.”
“I had in the past clearly said, I am ready to help players in the best possible manner. I am taking all the pain without taking a single penny as I love this sports and I had spent my entire life in cricket. I just want to return what I owe to this country, which had given me so much name and fame. I just want to work for the uplift of the national team without any greed of post or money,” Zaheer concluded.