Pakistan will fight off pressure in England with ‘smile on face’: Wahab

wahab.jpg

Islamabad—Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz has shrugged off any possibility of pressure on the national squad as they revisit England for a full tour for the first time after the famous spot-fixing saga in 2010 which brought disgrace to the country’s cricket.
The left-armer believed that the players will fight off any negative vibes from the crowd with ‘a smile on their face’.
Pakistan kick off their tour with a three-day match against English county side Somerset on July 3 and will later on take on England in four Tests, five ODIs and may possibly face hostile chants from the English crowd and pressure from the local media.
However, Wahab believed that the Pakistan squad is relaxed and united to cope up with extra pressures if any come on their way and they will take this tour like any other.
“It’s going to be the same [as any match], it’s going to be nothing different. If you play cricket and enjoy your cricket, you are able to perform. If you take the stress, or are worried about other things, you are not able to perform,” the 30-year-old told ESPNCricinfo.
“You can see the laugh on my face,” he added.
Wahab, who will partner with Mohammad Amir in Pakistan’s pace attack, believed that his compatriot, who was one of the three convicted cricketers in the spot-fixing case, will have the team’s full support.
The fast-bowler said that even if the crowd makes its feelings known in a negative manner, the Pakistan players will grin and bear it. “Obviously you cannot say anything to the crowd, people come there to watch the cricket, they have their own right to do whatever – to celebrate, or wish you good luck or wish you bad luck – so that’s not in our hands,” he said.
“As a team, as a squad of 17 plus our team management, all of us are going to support Mohammad Amir,” added Wahab.
He said, that he and his Pakistan team-mates will treat Mohammad Amir “like a little brother” in a bid to relieve the pressure of his hugely anticipated return to Test cricket at Lord’s next month.
Amir, 24, who last week told ESPNcricinfo that he was “terribly lucky” to be resuming his Test career after a six-year hiatus, was sentenced to six months in jail and banned from all cricket for five years after being found guilty of bowling no-balls to order as part of a sting by the now-defunct newspaper, News of the World.
Wahab, who also played in that 2010 contest having made his Test debut in Pakistan’s victory in the preceding match at The Oval, knows that the hype surrounding Amir will be intense ahead of his comeback on July 14, but speaking during a Chance to Shine event in East London, he said he believes that the Pakistan squad will be sufficiently united and relaxed to cope with the extra pressures.
“You can see the laugh on my face,” Wahab told ESPNcricinfo, when asked to imagine the scene of walking through the Long Room on the first morning of the match. “It’s going to be the same [as any match], it’s going to be nothing different. If you play cricket and enjoy your cricket, you are able to perform. If you take the stress, or are worried about other things, you are not able to perform.”
Only time will tell how the crowd will react to Amir and his team-mates – Lord’s is not by nature the most demonstrative of venues, although the spectators certainly made their feelings known on the morning after the NOTW revelations six years ago. Wahab, however, said that the team would grin and bear it, whatever the response.—APP

Share this post

PinIt
    scroll to top