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Masood rues absence of Hafeez, Wahab

Pakistan’s opening batsman will lead Southern Punjab in QeA Trophy 2019-20

PHOTO: AFP

Southern Punjab captain Shan Masood, while talking in a press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday, stated that the absence of veteran players such as fast-bowler Wahab Riaz and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez was a major setback.

The opener although, believed that his side was still strong even with the absence of the senior players.

“The absence of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hafeez is a big setback. We have very a strong unit. We will have to make some tough decisions about whom to play and whom to bench,” said Masood. “I was a part of two departmental teams that got shut down. But we need to see if we want to play quality cricket or quantity cricket.”

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The opening batsman believed the Kookaburra ball, which is expected to be used in the tournament, will bring reverse swing into play.

“The Kookaburra ball will reverse swing more. We have an incredible bowling line-up that includes players like Mohmmad Abbas and Rahat Ali. The weather is Lahore is very hot. We will definitely be going in with two spinners,” he said. “The final decision will be taken after looking at the pitch.”

The opener stated that he was not satisfied with his domestic performance and would strive to score more hundreds.

“I have made ten centuries in domestic cricket which is very low. Nine innings ended in the nineties. I will try not to be caught out in the nervous nineties and make more hundreds,” he concluded.

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The Central Punjab captain Babar Azam also spoke at the press conference and stated that any decision made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding the Test captaincy would be acceptable.

The prolific batsman claimed that he was under no pressure leading a side that boasted senior players in their ranks.

“A new first class structure has been unveiled and the players can’t wait to be a part of it. We are hopeful that this will bring change to Pakistan cricket. It will take a little time to adjust to four-day cricket,” Babar said. “I am not pressurised captaining the side with the presence of senior players. Whatever decision the PCB makes with regards to captaincy would be acceptable.”