Amjad Javed says it’s an “honour” to be playing alongside Shahid Afridi in next month’s T10 Cricket League and believes it is the perfect opportunity for UAE players to prove they’re worthy of playing in elite T20 competitions.
Javed, 37, was among the picks in Saturday’s draft, selected by Pakhtoon team, which will be led by Afridi for the inaugural edition at Sharjah Cricket Stadium between December 14-17.
It means Javed will be meeting Afridi for the third time in three years. The all-rounder was part of the UAE squad when in the 129-run loss to Pakistan at the 2015 World Cup, before falling to a seven-wicket defeat in the same fixture at last year’s Asia Cup.
But he is looking forward to sharing the same dressing room with the former Pakistan captain – a man he calls as his “T20 batting hero”.
“It will be an honour to play with him in the same team,” he said. “The fan following will be more of him than any of the other players. But it certainly gives us the advantage that the most popular cricketer in the T20 league is on the same side as me.
“It’s something that I’m looking forward to by playing under him. I feel lucky that he has taken me because I scored some runs and took some wickets when we played against Pakistan.”
Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman and Umar Gul and other elite stars will be something new for Javed and the other UAE team-mates.
Rameez Shahzad, Mohammad Naveed (Bengal Tigers), Shareef Asadullah, Ghulam Shabbir (Punjabi Legends), Rohan Mustafa, Imran Haider (Kerala Kings), and Saqlain Haider (Pakthoon) will also be in action over the four days.
In the past, the UAE internationals have been overlooked for T20 elite competitions apart from Chirag Suri’s selection for the Gujarat Lions at this year’s IPL.
But Javed feels the T10 Cricket League could be just the event to press their case and show their potential worldwide.
“It will give us the chance to show how good we are and hopefully go and play in one of the big T20 leagues.”
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