LAHORE-Former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper batsman Moin Khan has said that he could have not be able to compete with a wicketkeeper like Rashid Latif without hard work and tireless efforts.

Moin said this during the online session with national and emerging wicketkeepers Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed and Rohail Nazir here on Saturday. Before Moin’s lecture, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Rashid Latif, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan also spoke to the players as part of the online lectures series.

Recalling his renowned rivalry with Rashid Latif in the 90s, the former captain said that rather than complaining about the situation, he took the challenge head-on and only his hard work and perseverance helped him compete with Rashid. “Rashid Latif was a very a talented and accomplished wicketkeeper, and competing him wasn’t an easy task but I accepted the challenge and worked really hard. Thanks to Allah Almighty, my tireless work and focus helped me not only compete well against Rashid Latif but also achieve the landmark of most international caps as a wicketkeeper from Pakistan,” he added.

Moin emphasised the importance of the temperament of a wicketkeeper calling him an important part of the team, who is responsible of lifting the sagging spirits of a team in adverse times. “A wicketkeeper needs to energise the players with pep talk and by light-hearted conversation with fielders and bowlers, when the going gets tough and bowlers come under pressure in face of an onslaught by opposing batsmen.”

He also spoke about the importance of the relationship between a bowler and a wicketkeeper. “In my playing days, I used to pick up eye signals from Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi, which helped me predict the next delivery. Combining with these two bowlers, I sent some of the best in the business back to the dressing room by some cheeky on the field strategies.”

In his 14-year long international career, Moin appeared in 69 Tests scoring 2741 runs and completing 148 dismissals behind the stumps and in 219 ODIs, scored 3266 runs and tallied 287 dismissals. He said that he used to play squash and football to keep his mental focus and fitness besides jogging for long duration. “For me, squash and football are the games, which keep the players fit and mentally focused, so the lockdown period is the best time for the players to play their favourite games to remain active, fit and mentally focused.”

Regarding the prevailing situation due to coronavirus pandemic, the wicketkeeper batsman said: “In these difficult times, it is very important for the players to work very hard on their skills and fitness. They should to do their self assessment and make them ready for the upcoming assignments. The more they utilize these hard times in a positive manner and keeping them busy in fruitful activities, the better they will be able to perform soon after the cricketing activities resume.

Praising the wicketkeepers Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Rohail Nazir, he said: “You all are very talented but what you need to focus on improving your batting skills. During my era, when there was a tough competition between the wicketkeepers, I focused improved my batting, which further strengthened my place in the national side. You all need to work very hard on this area.

“When a wicketkeeper comes to the crease, it is a very pressure time, so if you are good with bat and you keep teasing the bowlers and play crucial role in reducing the pressure, it certainly helps the team in finishing the innings with great style,” Moin concluded.