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I want to play in all formats for Pakistan: Haris Rauf

The fast-bowler hit back against critics who assume that he can only thrive in the shortest format of the game

PHOTO: BBL

Pakistan’s fast-bowler Haris Rauf, in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, has claimed that he wants to represent his country in all formats of the game.

The fast-bowler, who has received rave reviews over his performances in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL), hit back against critics who assume that he can only thrive in the shortest format of the game.

“It is wrong to assume that I want to focus on T20s. I want to represent my country in all formats of the game. People have put a label on me that I am only a T20 player. I have performed in one-days and have bowled long spells in First-Class cricket as well. This tag that I am just a T20 bowler is completely false,” said Rauf.

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The pacer revealed that his previous experience of playing in Australia had a big role to play in his eventual performance for the Melbourne Stars in BBL.

“I am very happy with my performances in Australia. I had been playing cricket in Australia for two years and that is why I had an idea of how to bowl on these wickets. That experience helped me a lot. Getting a hat-trick at the MCG was a big moment for me,” he said. “I have not been able to serve my country yet. My contract in the BBL however is a big achievement for me. I am trying to avail this opportunity to its fullest extent. Lahore Qalandars worked really hard for me and helped me get this contract.”

The fast-bowler stated that he learned a lot from South Africa’s pacer Dale Steyn while admitting that his cut-throat celebration was in poor taste.

“The time I spent with Dale Steyn was great. I tried to send the maximum amount of my time with him in the nets, matches, or the dressing room. I have learned a lot from him. I got tips on controlling my outswinger,” he said. “I realised that the cut-throat celebrations were wrong. I apologised for the incident and it will not happen in the future. I got a call from Aqib bhai as well who told me that it was not right.”

Rauf revealed that he intended on staying with the Melbourne Stars for the foreseeable future, while crediting the Lahore Qalandars franchise for his rise in cricket.

“I plan on playing for the Melbourne Stars next year as well. The way the team and the players support each other is great. I feel that this is my own team. They have an environment like it’s a big family,” he said. “Lahore Qalandars have a big role in my development. Aqib bhai helped me greatly as well. Their player development program is the best platform for any rising player. My life changed when I went for their trials. I couldn’t even have thought of playing at this level before.”

The right-armer was excited at the prospect of representing his country at the international level and expressed his happiness at the comments of Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis.

“Everyone is saying that I should be included in the Pakistan team now. I just focus on my performances. When a person can keep on performing he can get opportunities to serve his country in different capacities. I will give my best if I get the opportunity of representing my country. Waqar Younis’ comments have made me very happy. He talked to me as well, and told me that I was doing a good job while advising me to keep working hard,” he concluded.