Rashid Khan, the ICC T20 player of the decade, is all set for his maiden PSL campaign with Lahore Qalandars this year.
The 22-year-old bowler arrived in Karachi on Monday to join Lahore Qalandars ahead of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 and shared his thoughts on the league, future of Afghanistan Cricket, Babar Azam, and the player of the decade title in an exclusive interview.
The leggie from Afghanistan said that he was looking forward to his first stint in the Pakistan Super League and has set his sights on helping his side Lahore Qalandars do well in the tournament.
“Having players like Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hafeez and Shaheen Shah Afridi, Qalandars look a very strong squad. We will enter the ground with a positive mindset to give our best and provide quality entertainment to our fans,” he said.
“I’ve received a lot of love from Qalandars’ fans since I was picked by them in draft. I am so excited to be here. I will try to produce results that LQ fans want from me. I hope once COVID-19 is over I can get a chance to meet the fans as well,” the Afghanistan cricketer said.
Rashid said that he has always followed PSL and also heard from the players about its standards. He termed PSL among the top three leagues along with IPL and Big Bash League.
He said that as per history, the league has always been good for spinners but regardless of conditions available in Pakistan his main goal is to do well for his side.
“I know there are top batsmen playing the league but I have an advantage that I’ve experience of bowling against them at various levels and I know their weaknesses and strengths. So, I will try to utilise that experience when I bowl against them in PSL,” he said.
“But, I can’t be complacent against anyone in the T20 format. My goal in PSL is to bowl as economically as possible. I am not eyeing any personal glory and stats and my target is to do what my team wants me to do. I know if I bowl with good economy, the wickets will automatically come my way. I always try to do well for my team and that’s what I will be aiming when I take the field.”
He also praised Lahore Qalandars players development program, saying that when a youngster gets the opportunity to share a dressing room with top players of the world, he gets to learn a lot about what it takes to be there.
“These leagues are very beneficial for the youngsters. Pakistan has some very good talent and PSL is an opportunity for them to grow. I would suggest all the youngsters in PSL to consider their time as priceless and precious and learn whatever they can while sharing the dressing room with top cricketers,” Rashid said.
Rashid further said that he followed Pakistan vs South Africa T20 series that was played in Lahore and wished to get similar support from the Gaddafi wicket when he’ll be there for PSL matches in the second week of March.
He also praised Pakistan debutant Zahid Mehmood for showing quality in his bowling.
“I was following the T20 series and I saw wicket was getting good turn when Tabraiz or Usman Qadir were bowling. There can’t be anything better than getting a similar wicket but whatever the conditions would be there, I will try to give my best without thinking too much about the conditions,” he said.
Replying to a question, the top ranked ICC T20I bowler praised Babar Azam and ranked him among the top five batsmen of the world.