Masood pins high hopes on foreign players in Sultans' squad

The left-handed batsman believed that the Sultans’ had covered all departments with their foreign picks

Masood pins high hopes on foreign players in Sultans' squad PHOTO: PCB

The Multan Sultans’ captain for the fifth edition of the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) Shan Masood, in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, pinned high hopes on the foreign players that will be representing the franchise in the upcoming event.

The left-handed batsman believed that the Sultans’ had covered all departments with their foreign picks who have the credentials to help his side to a maiden title victory.

“We have names like Rilee Rossouw, James Vince, Imran Tahir, Ravi Bopara and Moin Ali in the team. We have all departments covered. We have one of the best leg-spinners in the world in Imran Tahir. Moin Ali is one of the best all-rounders. Rossouw, Vince and Bopara have also had valuable contributions for other teams in the previous editions of the PSL. We are very happy with the foreign players inducted into our side,” Masood said.

Masood claimed that his leadership experience in domestic cricket will help him in his current stint as captain of the Multan Sultans franchise.

“I haven’t led Pakistan in international cricket. There can only be one captain. I haven’t even played T20I cricket yet. I gained a lot of experience in the domestic season leading the South Punjab team. We had a really good team that made it into the semi-finals. I think keeping that in mind I have the necessary experience. It is a challenge and an opportunity that I have accepted. We will try to win the title for Multan Sultans,” he said.

The young captain praised the services of Pakistan’s all-rounder Shoaib Malik for the franchise while claiming that the presence of former all-rounder Shahid Afridi was a big boost for the team.

“Shoaib Malik has been a big name for Multan Sultans since the start. His presence will be missed. A guy who has been captain of the franchise for two years and now suddenly he is not there, so you can say that this has been a big change. As a player, Shoaib Malik’s record speaks for itself. He has always been a big player and will continue to succeed at the highest levels,” he said. “We had two big players in Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi last year. If we had lost both than it could have been a big factor for the franchises. Afridi still being here is very big for us. He has been one of the best captains and leaders for the Pakistan team. He has been a great player especially in the PSL. Him being on the field with us and as a mentor is a big plus point for us.”

The 30-year-old stated that the players in the team were excited to play their matches on their home grounds.

“When the PSL initially came to Pakistan it was just bound to Karachi and Lahore. Now we have started expanding the range of cricket. This time we will have cricket in Rawalpindi and Multan as well. We are very excited to play in our home grounds. As the home team we expect a packed stadium and it is an honor to lead the side,” he said. “Andy Flower has been the coach of the world’s number one team England. He has been with the England Lions team. His caliber is there for all to see. It is a big opportunity for us to work with him.”

The opening batsman rejected claims that he was a Test match specialist and stated that he was focused on all formats.

“I have never encouraged these labels of being a format specialist. I think a world class player can adapt to any format. His basics, work ethics and game sense need to be strong and then no label can worry you. The best example of this is Babar Azam who is one of the best batsmen in the world today. I don’t believe in these labels. I am not a Test specialist. I have performed well in white ball cricket as well in the domestic circuit,” he concluded.