Zeeshan Ashraf challenges Kamran Akmal for Pakistan's T20I wicketkeeper spot

Left-hand batsman is aiming to earn place in national team for the mega event

Zeeshan Ashraf challenges Kamran Akmal for Pakistan's T20I wicketkeeper spot PHOTO: PCB

Multan Sultans’ left-hand wicketkeeper-batsman Zeeshan Ashraf has thrown a challenge to Peshawar Zalmi’s Kamran Akmal for the wicketkeeper slot in the Pakistan’s squad for the Twenty20 (T20) World Cup, scheduled to take place in Australia in November this year.

Akmal’s blistering 55-ball 101 secured Peshawar Zalmi a six-wicket win over Quetta Gladiators in the fourth match of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 at Karachi’s National Stadium on Saturday, while Ashraf played a 50-run knock from 29 balls went in vein as Islamabad United registered an eight-wicket win over Multan Sultans.

However, ending up on the losing side didn’t stop Ashraf from making his intentions clear in the Lahore’s post-match conference for the rest of the tournament.

"Kamran Akmal is playing really well this PSL season. Infact, he performs every year but I will also perform,” Ashraf said. "It is alright that he [Kamran] is a senior cricketer and everything, but now he is in competition with me [for the wicketkeeper slot in WT20 squad]. I will show you my performance and the rest depends on his and my luck.”

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Meanwhile in the post-match press conference in Karachi, Akmal refrained from making any bold claims and emphasised that his entire focus is on the ongoing HBL PSL.

"My focus is towards performing for my team Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL. That is the most important thing for me right now and I am not looking beyond that,” Akmal said. "It is the selectors’ job to pick whoever they deem fit for the team. However, whatever selection criteria they follow, they should take media, fans and the players in confidence.”

Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz, who is also looking to make a comeback in the national side, also scored 41 from 25 balls on Saturday against Zalmi.