Wahab Riaz, the captain of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) team Peshawar Zalmi, has his eyes set on completing a century of PSL wickets in the remaining matches of the tournament in Abu Dhabi, and become the first cricketer to do so.
Wahab, 35, said that he is looking to reach the milestone in the forthcoming matches and wouldn’t want to wait for another year to achieve the goal.
“I have 84 wickets in the league so far and need another 16 to reach three figures. We have five or six matches left in the league and I am eager to complete the goal in these matches instead of waiting for the next season,” said the fast bowler, who has played 59 matches in the league so far – all for Peshawar Zalmi – since the inception of the tournament.
Wahab said that the teams, including his side, will have to “start from zero” in the PSL remainders as these are new conditions and all the teams are there with different combinations from what they had in Karachi before the tournament was suspended due to the coronavirus.
“A lot has changed since March, so we will have to start again. The most important thing for us now is to get ourselves adjusted to conditions and the combination in next few days before the tournament resumes,” he said.
He emphasised on getting an early momentum and said that a good start in remainders will be key to success.
The Zalmi captain said that he trusts the abilities of all the players and as a captain the only thing he wants from his players is “100% effort on the ground and forget about everything else”.
“We tried to pick like-for-like players in the replacement draft and I am sure everyone drafted is a match winner.
I believe that we are going to miss services of Saqib Mehmood who did well for us in Karachi but will not be available due to his commitments in the English season. He would’ve been a very good option for us in these conditions,” said Wahab Riaz.
The pacer also spoke about spending time in quarantine, saying that it wasn’t an easy task but there was no other choice.
He said that in an attempt to keep himself and other players ready for the challenge, team followed an in-room training programme.
“We started with walking and moved on to running in the room. At times we would run 2-3kms. We also did some shadow bowling practice which kept our muscles working and it helped us when we returned to the training session,” he said.
“The weather will be another challenge for us during the matches. We realized how warm it was during our practice sessions when we decided to play football. It was so warm that we felt like stopping after only 10 minutes of play,” he said.
Replying to a question, Wahab said that he has a very good relationship with his coach Darren Sammy.
According to the fast bowler, a friendly relation between the coach and captain is always healthy and positive for any dressing room.
He also revealed that when the PSL started, he wanted to play for the Lahore Qalandars but then things didn’t work out and he moved to Peshawar Zalmi. “I wanted to play for Lahore but now I am enjoying my time in Peshawar,” Wahab said.—Agencies