'All-rounder' Waseem Jr. to emerge as hard hitter: Shadab Khan

Shadab claimed that the Pakistan fans are yet to see Wasim's true potential.

'All-rounder' Waseem Jr. to emerge as hard hitter: Shadab Khan PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Islamabad United captain Shadab Khan has said that emerging all-rounder Mohammad Wasim Jr. will emerge as one of the best hard-hitters in the coming days.

In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, the 23-year-old hailed United's role in making him shine at the big stage as the franchise has brought many young players and Shadab is one of them.

“We are extremely lucky to have a talented pool of emerging players. Our emerging players have played for us and the following year, they make their debut for Pakistan national team and that is something which the franchise takes pride in,” Shadab said.

“We aim to make the players feel comfortable and allow them the space to express themselves as players. This environment is mainly down to our management and they deserve a lot of the credit.

Mohammad Waseem Jnr. was part of United last year as an Emerging player and then he made his debut for Pakistan. Shadab claimed that the Pakistan fans are yet to see his true potential.

“I was included in the team as an Emerging player as well and I can understand how it must feel. I feel happy to see how he [Waseem Jnr.] has progressed. He has not had a lot of opportunities with the bat but over time, everyone will see the hard hitter he is,” Shadab added.

Islamabad United, in addition to Shadab, have likes of Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf. The franchise is now renowned for the friendships these players have with each other.

Explaining the way in which Shadab handles that, he said: “Although we are friends but the line between personal and professional will always exist. When we cross the boundary, we leave the friendships outside and players know that they are all the same for me as a skipper.”

“The bond should, however, exist especially in testing times of bio-bubble. Since you cannot go anywhere, having good relationship with players outside of cricket is very important for me,” said Shadab.

“Excessive focus on cricket can also harm your game in certain scenarios, which is why it is important to maintain a balance between cricket and your personal life,” added Shadab.

“We spend bio-bubble life by playing small games and the loser would have to clean the dishes. These are all the things which we need to keep up in order to survive in the bio-secure environments.”

Often criticised for his inclusion in the Pakistan national team, despite performing well for United, Asif Ali’s journey has not been easy. However, Shadab labelled Asif as a “god gifted player.”

“Some players have natural talent and that is god gifted. When players don’t have enough balls to face, it takes time for them to adjust. You cannot judge a player in 5-10 matches because of the added pressure.”

“I am delighted with how Asif bhai has performed on the international stage; seeing his performances for Islamabad United and Northern, we had complete faith in his abilities and they are now on display for everyone to see,” Shadab said.