LAHORE            -        Pakistan wicketkeeper batsman Muhammad Rizwan has said that there is no added pressure on him due to the presence of former skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in the national team.

Rizwan said this while talking to sports journalists during an online session organized by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) media department here on Thursday. He said that he is glad to have a very positive rivalry with former captain Sarfraz Ahmed and he is learning a lot from him. “Sarfraz Ahmed’spresence creates an atmosphere of competition between us and I feel no pressure due to him being in the side. There is always two-wicket keepers whenever the team is traveling on a big tour. I am myself a big fan of Sarfraz and try to learn from him as much I can,” he said.

The 28-year-old emphasized the importance of having a permanent batting spot but at the higher level, playing and performing at any number should matter the most. “Wicket-keeper batsman has to be on his toes if the situation demands to bat up or lower down the order. It’s a different kind of job, however, I am ready to bat at any position for my team,” he asserted.

Lauding the facilities provided by the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as they are here to train and focus on cricket, Rizwan said: “In these difficult times of COVID-19, the best facilities are being provided in England. If a player wants to put extra effort at nets, he can do it at any time.”

Rizwan revealed that he doesn’t use any social media platforms, except Whatsapp which is a text and voice messaging app. “I don’t use social media except Whatsapp, whether I am on the tour or not. So, I don’t know about the criticism I received on any social media platform, which is, in fact, a blessing,” he said.

Commenting on his performance during the practice game, the wicketkeeper said: “My confidence has improved after performing in the intra-squad practice matches, which will help me in the upcoming Test series. It is always pleasing to score a century. I am ready to bat at any position in the batting order the team requires. All the batsmen are in good form and are confident ahead of the series.”

The 28-year-old was one of the 10 Pakistan cricketers, who initially tested positive Covid-19 ahead of the England tour. “I wasn’t concerned when I tested positive for Covid-19 as I didn’t have any symptoms,” he said. Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests and same number of Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) starting from August 5.