PSL 2019: Karachi Kings' Sikandar Raza can't wait to return to Pakistan

Ajit Vijaykumar 20:11 02/03/2019
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Sikandar Raza (r). Image: PSL/Twitter.

Karachi Kings’ Zimbabwe batsman Sikandar Raza is enjoying a fine spell in league cricket. From taking part in the Global T20 Canada, the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League to the Bangladesh Premier League and now rubbing shoulders with superstars in the Pakistan Super League, Raza is gaining invaluable experience.

The Zimbabwe batsman has played in three matches in PSL 2019 so far. In those, Raza has made a highest score of 14 while he has had a better time with the ball, taking three wickets from two matches.

While that isn’t the most attractive of returns, Raza is enjoying his time in the PSL and is learning a lot in the company of a seasoned support staff including coach Mickey Arthur and Wasim Akram.

“It’s been fantastic because it is a family kind of environment. It’s been great so far. Mickey and Wasim bhai have been very encouraging. They have made me feel relaxed and also reiterated the belief that I should have in my own game. It’s been fantastic around those two individual,” Raza told Sport360.

“I have been very fortunate that the last year and this year that I have been exposed to various leagues. There is not just one lesson but many that I will take back home and that will hopefully reflect in my international performances.”

His stint in PSL is not over yet and the 32-year-old is looking forward to travelling to Pakistan for the remainder of the PSL. Raza was part of the Zimbabwe squad that toured Pakistan in 2015 in a breakthrough tour for the Asian nation that had faced complete international cricket isolation following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team.

Raza said he can’t wait to go back to Pakistan.

“I am excited to be playing Karachi, our home ground, and hopefully qualify for the playoffs. Zimbabwe toured Pakistan in 2015 for ODIs and T20s. It was one of the best tours I have had and I am looking forward to playing there again,” he said.

The PSL has been particularly tough for batsmen like Raza, with bowlers once again calling the shots in helpful conditions. However, the Zimbabwean said it is all part of the learning process and added the PSL has taught him to keep a clear mind and just enjoy the game.

“Each country presents its own conditions and you need to find a way to do well. Conditions were getting slightly better in the second part of the tournament. Unfortunately, I haven’t played but hopefully the opportunity will come up again.

“How clear your thought process has to be before you go out to bat or bowl and also how you have to try and enjoy the game at every given stage – those are the two biggest lessons I have learnt from PSL.”

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