Masood sets sights on playing World Cup 2019 for Pakistan

Pakistan opener believes that performing in PSL will aids his chances of getting selected for mega event

Masood sets sights on playing World Cup 2019 for Pakistan PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan Test opener Shan Masood has said that playing the World Cup is a dream for every player.

While speaking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Masood said that he is keen on using the upcoming edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), followed by the ODI series against Australia, as an opportunity to come in reckoning for Pakistan’s limited-over side.

“It is every player’s dream to play the World Cup,” said Masood. “I’m looking forward to PSL and Australia series as I’m want to perform well and increases my chances of getting selected in the squad for the mega event.”

He added: “My limited-over game has improved and PSL will be a great opportunity to show that. Playing alongside international cricketers helps you a lot in terms of confidence and rooting out deficiencies from your game. I did not get an opportunity to play during the previous season but I still learnt a lot about how the league is played. Hopefully I will get my chance in the upcoming edition of PSL.”

Speaking about his good showing with the bat during the recently concluded Test series against South Africa, the left-handed opener said that the work he put in his game, while being out of the national side, benefitted him greatly. 

“I have been putting in the hard yards for the past couple of years and the performance I gave during the Test series against South Africa was because of that,” he said.

Although he was disappointed about not being able to convert the starts he got into something substantial and preferably a hundred.

“I would have liked to convert those scores into big one but unfortunately that did not happen,” he said. “At the end of your career, people look at how many centuries you have scored and as of now I only have one ton to my name.”

The 29-year-old also spoke about the stop-start nature of his career by stating: “Since making my debut in 2013, I have had a stop-start career. This increases importance of making the most of the opportunity whenever it comes your way. But having said that getting proper chances, helps in being consistent in terms of performance.”

Masood also spoke about the criticism that came his way because of the fact that his father was part of the PCB governing board.

“Initially it did bother me but with time I have realised that these things don’t matter and all I have to do is concentrate on my performance on the field,” he said.

Masood also praised the way wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has been leading the side.

“I have good understanding with Sarfaraz as we have both played domestic and club cricket together,” he said. “We both have a similar approach in the way we take play the game and I have also learnt a lot from him. Captaincy is a difficult job. Sarfaraz has done great as captain and the atmosphere of the dressing room is also really good.”

Masood’s only century in Test cricket came while batting with Younis Khan — against Sri Lanka in Pallekele during in 2015 —and the latter is someone who has a significant amount of influence on the way the opener plays his cricket. 

“Younis Khan is always available when I need his help in terms of advice of practicing with him in the nets,” he said. “We both understand each other really well and I also scored my only century in Tests also came while playing alongside him.”