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Jasprit Bumrah is one of the bowlers I love facing: Fakhar Zaman

The opener understood the frustrations of his fans while vowing to win back their love in the ongoing HBL PSL 5

Jasprit Bumrah is one of the bowlers I love facing: Fakhar Zaman PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s hard-hitting opener Fakhar Zaman, in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, revealed that India’s fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah was one of the international bowlers he loves to face.

 The 29-year-old also expressed his delight at facing spinners who don’t get much purchase from the surfaces used in international cricket.

“All bowlers are good in international cricket. All of them are tough to face. I personally like Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah. Mitchell Starc is another bowler that I enjoy facing. They are the kind of bowlers who are different than everyone else. When you face them, it is a different experience. I have enjoyed facing a lot of bowlers especially spinners, because the wickets used in international cricket are very flat. The ball doesn’t turn too much because of that,” Zaman said.

Zaman understood the frustrations of his fans while vowing to win back their love in the ongoing Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five.

“The fans, who love cricket so much, are often disappointed with my recent performances which I agree with completely. They are disappointed because they love us so much. It is in our hands to work hard and earn their love once more. I am working hard and I will try to earn back that love in the PSL,” he said. “It’s [opening and living up to expectations] is not that hard to be honest. It depends on your form and how you carry yourself.  It is hard to expect an opener to deliver in every match. It is a tough job.”

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The Lahore Qalandars’ opener highlighted the importance of the HBL PSL 5 being played in Pakistan.

“The PSL being played in Pakistan is a big breakthrough. We organised a league in Mardan recently in which some international players took part. That league changed the entire cricket structure of our district. Academies were formed, players started working harder and investments started flowing in. So many big stars are featuring in the PSL. The youngsters get excited after watching this action unfold,” he said.

Zaman claimed that he had a good experience while captaining Lahore Qalandars in the past while urging the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to invest more in rural areas.

“My experience as Lahore Qalandars’ captain was good however it was for a really short period of time. I learned a lot and saw a lot as well. It was an honour for me to captain at this level,” he said. “PCB should invest more in rural areas of the country. Urban areas already have a lot of academies and the necessary facilities to flourish. I played my cricket in Karachi as well. Now players from those areas have started coming in because cricket has started in those areas. The local people have started investing in the sport.”

The opener revealed that he tries to emulate batsmen AB De Villiers and Adam Gilchrist. 

“I have always followed AB De Villiers. I watch his videos. Adam Gilchrist is my idol. Both these players are my favourite and I want to play like them. I want to represent Pakistan on the back of good performances in the future. After that I would like to go into rural areas so that I can help and facilitate players who don’t have the resources to thrive in the sport,” he said.

Zaman claimed that Peshawar would soon host cricket while urging the PCB to bring the sport to rural areas.

“PSL matches will be played in Peshawar. They are already making a stadium there, so matches will be played there after it is built. These are still big cities however; I would really like these matches to be played in other smaller cities rather than the mainstream big cities they are played in,” he concluded.

FULL INTERVIEW