From our correspondent
KARACHI: Former champions Peshawar Zalmi’s skipper Darren Sammy on Thursday said that to have former Pakistan’s skipper Shoaib Malik in the squad will give stability to the middle order.
“Shoaib brings stability to the middle order. Peshawar, unfortunately, heavily relied on the top order in the past. In first two seasons myself, Afridi and Pollard were there in the deep but to have that stability in the middl gives our team an edge where we could go out and play much more freely,” Sammy told a news conference here at National Stadium on Thursday. Zalmi will face Karachi Kings in their opener on Friday (today) here at National Stadium. “Shoaib is an experienced player and also has served as captain and that makes my job easier. We are more than happy to have him in our line-up,” Sammy said.
Sammy aslo conceded that the best bowling unit of the PSL would win the tournament.
“The pitches in Pakistan create a lot of excitement and I see the best bowling team will win this tournament,” said Sammy, who led the West Indies to two T20 World Cup titles.
Sammy’s fitness issues were a sort of concerns for the Zalmis during the previous two editions as he was even seen limping on the pitch several times.
But now, he says, he is fully fit and will contribute in both batting and bowling where his team would need him.
“I missed bowling in the last two PSL because two years ago I got injured. Coming back to full fitness was a bit of an issue. If you check my record in the PSL you can really question that. I have come here and what I suppose to do as a leader and as a low order finisher for the team. This is no different. I was the first player to reach here. I feel really good and fully fit and that includes both bowling and batting,” Sammy said. “All teams play for what are required from them. Whenever the team will need me in bowling I will bowl there and will continue my role as a finisher in batting. You are right. CPL was not the best but I don’t dwell in the past. I always look forward to the future,” he said.
Sammy cannot wait for the PSL to start.
“I am excited every time the PSL comes around. I remember in 2017 when the final was held in Lahore, it was a small step to have cricket back in Pakistan. It was the first shot. And today the entire tournament is being held here,” he said. “It shows that the PSL has a positive impact on Pakistan’s cricket and fans deserve to see their local and international players. I am very eager to start tomorrow,” Sammy said.
He said Zalmi would try to execute their plans and strategies quite rightly.
“Over the years we have played well. One thing about Peshawar team is when we pick up the team we all hold meeting and discuss our plans and strategies and effort would be made to executive them on the field. Coach Akram has also done a fairly good job in putting the team together. Our team is mixture of exciting youngsters and experienced players and hopefully would do better,” Sammy said.
He said that he has great love for Pakistan and supports it from inwardly.
“As a fast bowler, not. I give contribution to this country is from within. I don’t need past but to assist myself. Not just me but all guys who have come here have shown their support to Pakistan,” he said.
“In the World XI game Andrew Duplessie, Hashim Amla and all the guys came and all other teams who have come here played I think they support Pakistan. I think it’s a massive step in what we have had today. Its good that my contribution is being recognised. But for what I do from within myself my affection for the people and the love I got in return,” Sammy said.
From our correspondent