Abdullah Shafique ecstatic after national call-up

Top-order batsman scored 358 runs in 10 matches of recently-concluded National T20 Cup for Central Punjab

Abdullah Shafique ecstatic after national call-up PHOTO: PCB

Top-order batsman Abdullah Shafique is ecstatic after being selected in the national team for the upcoming limited-overs series against Zimbabwe.

Shafique scored 358 runs in 10 matches of recently-concluded National T20 Cup for Central Punjab. He also scored a century on his T20 debut, becoming only the second player in history to make a century on both first-class and T20 debuts.

"I was very excited after being named in the squad for Zimbabwe series. My dream was to represent Pakistan and it will be an honour to do that,” Shafique said while talking to reporters. "There is a lot of competition in the top-order but whenever I am given an opportunity, I will try to do my best.”

"I will try to carry my form from the National T20 Cup into the Zimbabwe series. Although, international cricket is a new experience, but I have a lot of support from the team management, so I hope the transition from domestic to international cricket won’t be difficult,” he added.

Shafique named Australian batting great Ricky Ponting and Pakistan’s limited-overs skipper Babar Azam as his favourite players.

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"My favourite player is Ricky Ponting and I try to play like him. I used to like his pull shot and high back-lift. So my favourite shots are also pull shot and cover drives since I am a top-order batsman,” he said. “Babar Azam is also my favourite and hopefully I will learn from him during the camp and Zimbabwe series. Eventually, the target is to improve my game and serve Pakistan in the best way possible.”

Zimbabwe have already arrived in Pakistan for the series. The three One-Day Internationals in Rawalpindi are set to be played on October 30, November 1 and 3 and will begin at 12pm local time, while the first ball in the three Twenty20 Internationals, to be played at Gaddafi Stadium on November 7, 8 and 10, will be bowled at 3.30pm.