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Zalmi has players who can make up for Hasan Ali’s absence: Wahab Riaz

Peshawar’s captain is upbeat ahead of HBL PSL 6

Zalmi has players who can make up for Hasan Ali’s absence: Wahab Riaz PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Peshawar Zalmi’s captain Wahab Riaz believes that his side can make up for the absence of star pacer Hasan Ali, who left for Islamabad United before the beginning of HBL PSL 6.

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Riaz said that his best wishes are with Ali.  

“My best wishes are with Hasan and hopefully he will continue his good performance while playing for Islamabad United,” said Riaz. “We will miss Hasan but we still have good players in the squad who can step up and take us closer to the title.”

“Peshawar Zalmi has a large fan base and people expect us to perform well every year. We will try to play good and positive cricket this season and hopefully win the title,” he added.

He also praised young top-order batsman Haider Ali for his fearless approach with the bat.

“Haider Ali is an explosive batsman and I really like him. He has a lot of shots and has an aggressive approach towards the game. In T20 tournament, you need such players in your side,” he said.

He also stressed on the importance of team work inorder to win the title.

“I won’t name one player because individual performance can win you some matches but winning a tournament requires team effort which is why every player in the squad is important for me,” he said.

Riaz, who is the highest wicket-take in HBL PSL history, is also keen on becoming the best bowler of the tournament.

“I have never been the best bowler of the tournament. I came close to achieving that target in the past seasons but wasn’t able to do that. I want to continue my good performance in the event for my side,” he said.

He also rued the absence of matches in Zalmi’s home ground in Peshawar.

“It is unfortunate that the [Covid-19] pandemic has forced us to play this year’s matches in just two cities. It would, obviously, have been great to play on your home turf in Peshawar because of the support you get from the crowd,” he said. “The good thing is that cricket is taking place and fans can watch those on TV and in limited numbers at the stadium.”

Riaz, who is currently in quarantine after breaching bio-secure bubble, also admitted that playing cricket during Covid-19 wasn’t easy.

“Being in the bio-bubble is frustrating at time because staying in your room and eating the same type of food is difficult. But, inorder to get back on the field, we are willing to make this sacrifice,” he concluded.