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Sikandar Raza having a great time in Karachi

All-rounder says the love and respect he gets from every city in Pakistan is the same

PHOTO: AFP

Karachi Kings player Sikandar Raza is hopeful that the Karachi Kings team will put up a good show, in the ongoing edition of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL).

While talking exclusively to Cricket Pakistan, Raza said he was enjoying the atmosphere in Karachi. The 32-year-old was born in Sialkot and moved to Zimbabwe in 2003.

“We visited Lahore last time and this time we are in Karachi. We are thoroughly enjoying the experience. It’s a beautiful place to play Cricket,” said Raza. “I hope international tours can be restarted in the country.”

The Zimbabwe player was part of the contingent that visited Pakistan with the national side in 2015, which was the first time an international tour was held in Pakistan, after the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009. The matches were all scheduled in Lahore. 

Speaking about his experience of playing in, both, major cities of Pakistan, he said that the love and passion for cricket is visible in all parts of the country.

“Karachi and Lahore are not too different. It’s a bit early to compare the two but the feeling, love and the overall vibe remains the same,” he said. “Cricket is a sport that unites the entire country together. It doesn’t matter which city we are in, the love and respect we get is the same.”

The right-handed batsman also highlighted the importance of an all-rounder performing in at least one discipline. He said that he might not be performing with the bat but is making up for it through his bowling figures.

“The workload of an all-rounder is a lot. We have to bat, bowl and field. As an all-rounder if I am performing in at least one discipline I am not too concerned,” he said. “It is only a matter of time that the second one clicks too. Not too bothered about it at the moment.”

Commenting on his relationship with Mickey Arthur and Babar Azam, he said that he was familiar with most of the players because of other international matches and leagues. This helped him become even closer with everyone he is currently playing with.

“We have played against each other; there is a lot of mutual respect. I know most cricketers in Karachi and have played against them in various leagues and international matches,” he said. “I get along really well with everyone.”

The all-rounder also stressed on the importance of playing international cricket and was of the opinion that representing Zimbabwe was the most important task.

“My focus is on international cricket primarily. In international cricket I try to focus on all formats and not just T20’s. As a Zimbabwean, I want to perform in all formats,” he said. “If a player’s international career is good and strong, leagues will follow.”