ISLAMABAD  -  Awais Zia looked highly optimistic about his return to national team with performance in the coming Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Awais, who had played five T20 Internationals for green caps expressed these views during an exclusive interview to The Nation on Tuesday. He said: “I just returned from UK after playing in the Premier Division in Sheffield for Aston Hall Cricket Club and I was the top scorer in the League with 1400 runs and I also bowled as off spinner and took 30 wickets as well. I am trying my level best to turn myself into an all-rounder and serve Pakistan cricket in the years to come.”

The highly explosive opening left hand batsman said he feels he could have scored more runs and could have cemented his place in the national team not only in the shorter format but also in the One Day Internationals and Test cricket as well but he was never given ample chances and could not settled down.

He said after playing his last T20 International in 2016, he is a completely different and more solid player. “My performances in England and in the domestic cricket are evident of my claim. I am playing Quiad-e-Azam Trophy for SSGC and we had a very good squad, coached by former Test cricketers Atiq-Uz-Zaman and Kabir Khan. It is a very good and lethal combination and I am quite hopeful that with match-winning performances, I will be able to get back a place in the national team.”

Despite being considered a premier hard hitting batsman, Awais has been so far completely ignored by the Pakistan Super League franchise. “I don’t know why I am not given chance. I was placed in Silver category for the first two editions of the PSL and remained without being picked by any team. Last year I was promoted to Gold category, but once again, no team picked me. I am also highly surprised and when people ask me why I was left out, I had no answer as I still fail to understand the actual reason.”

He said he was not disappointed anyhow and his moral was sky-high. He said competition for places in the national team was getting tougher with each passing day and especially after the arrival of Fakhar Zaman and considering the fact he is also left-hander, things are further tough.

“But I am a born fighter and I had come through difficult times. Now I can feel justice will be provided to all deserving players with the change in government and with a true cricketing legend Imran Khan has taken charge of Prime Minister office no deserving player will face what I had to bear.”

The 31-year-old hard-hitter said he was fully fit and ready to serve Pakistan cricket in the years to come and would not disappoint if given an opportunity.

“I love to bat top of the order and I can provide quick start to the team. I had changed my style and now I am more responsible and know how to take the teams’ hopes forward. I am surprised that I am tagged as only T20 player. People forget I am playing in first class cricket with an average of 40 and that shows I can fit in any format. If I can bat in top order in 4-day matches and can score loads of runs then what is wrong in giving me a chance to prove myself.”

Awais said current season was highly important for his career as he can prove his worth by scoring runs that could help him gain a place in national team.




Mohsin ALi