Mushtaq Ahmad compares Rizwan’s leadership to Imran Khan

Former Pakistan legendary spinner, Mushtaq was all compliments in regards to Rizwan’s approach as a leader

Mushtaq Ahmad compares Rizwan’s leadership to Imran Khan PHOTO: PSL/Cricket Australia

Defending champions Multan Sultans have registered their spot in the final of HBL PSL 7 and their performances have been commend-worthy, winning 10 of their 11 matches played in the tournament thus far.

Talking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Sultans’ assistant coach Mushtaq Ahmed addressed their remarkable win-ratio in HBL PSL 7. He said that the credit lies entirely with the Almighty and the players for their efforts.

“One of the most important things when it comes to winning is the leadership quality and Rizwan is a great leader. He keeps everyone in loop and works with the players to execute the game plans,” he said.

When inquired about whether the change in captaincy was the turning point for Sultans, Ahmad said that there are many more factors at play than just the captaincy.

“There are a lot of factors which come into play and you just don’t focus one element; for the players to trust their captain, the chemistry to be matches between the players and the captain. When players respect you as a captain or as a coach, they will automatically give more value to your opinions and will try to carry out the plans,” he explained.

“It goes back to the old adage which states that it is not the medicine that cures you but the belief you have on the doctor’s treatment. So, Rizwan’s captaincy was definitely a factor but the credit also is with the players for their togetherness,” he added. 

Former Pakistan legendary spinner, Mushtaq was all compliments in regards to Rizwan’s approach as a leader.

“There are three things which are required in leadership. One, you have to be honest. Second, you have to lead by example and through your performances. Lastly, you need to be a decision maker. All these three things are present in him [Rizwan]. He often tells players when he feels that they did not put in the effort. So, the balance between being soft and jolly while also firm is very important,” he said.

“I remember when I conceded 70-odd runs in Brisbane and Imran bhai came up to me and backed me for trying my level best. I think it is important to back your players as a leader because it gives you the desire to go out there and prove their belief in you. Rizwan is exactly this way and his leadership is huge positive,” Mushtaq further added.

Mushtaq talked about Multan’s “over-reliance” on the opening duo of Rizwan and Shan. 

“Whenever you have a tournament, there are always going to be 2-3 standout performers while other players chip in. For example, you look at Khushdil Shah and he won us three matches right towards the end. Every player has a role and once they start fulfilling it, the teams tend to perform better and better,” he explained.

Shahnawaz Dahani was recently criticized for focusing a little too much on his celebrations. In response, Mushtaq said: “This is Shahnawaz’s strength. Always remember that you should never force players away from their strengths. His celebration ignites the spark not only in the team but also in the crowd. It is a mean through which you relieve pressure as well. The only thing we have worked with him is to ensure that once play is happening, whether he is bowling or fielding, his complete focus should be on the game.”

“I personally enjoy his celebration a lot and so does the entire dressing room and the crowd,” he further added.