SHARJAH: Agha Salman, the right-handed batsman of Lahore Qalandars, said Friday he was thankful to the team management for “picking me, giving me a chance [to play] and vowed to perform better in the upcoming games.
Reeling from their fourth consecutive defeat at the hands of Islamabad United, which only provided the Twitterati more chances to make Qalandars the butt of most jokes, the team did not seem to lose their spirit.
The match brought the audience farther to the edge of their seats due to a super over following a tie when Islamabad United’s Andre Russell powered his squad to victory with a sixer on the last ball.
“I hope to fix [whatever was wrong with my] batting today and continue in the next six matches,” Salman, 24, said, with a furtive smile on his face.
The cricketer explained that he intends to bump up his performance “day by day … and as quickly as possible, pick things along my way to Pakistan’s [national cricket] team”.
‘Couldn’t sleep for two nights’
When asked whether he felt disappointed standing on the boundary, watching his team shredded to pieces by Islamabad United, and whether he wanted to finish the match, Salman commented that the players “always try to finish”.
“In the last match, when I got out, I couldn’t sleep for two nights … Don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight either.”
However, the right-hand batsman, who has also played for the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) team, had something more to add.
“Yes, agreed that we have lost four matches but everyone would notice [that] there is a big factor of luck as well. I’m not giving an excuse, but luck is definitely not favouring us.”
A catch here, a superb shot there, it is the “small things that are not going in our favour.”
“Otherwise, we would have won.”
A feeling ‘I cannot describe’
In response to whether he thinks he now has the proper platform to progress ahead in his cricket career, especially with reference to the now-big names like Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, and Hasan Ali, Salman said: “Yes, it’s exactly like that … PSL is a short way to get into the Pakistani team.”
“It is an international league, so you obviously get international exposure.”
Which brought us to Brendon McCullum and Salman sharing a dressing room.
McCullum is “one of the best players in the world and we have grown up seeing him play. So, to share a dressing room with him is a feeling that I cannot describe”, said the star sportsman, who has played for Lahore’s Apollo Cricket Club for a long time.
“Nevertheless, we get to learn a lot from them because these are people from whom one can learn a lot. So I’m trying my best to learn as much as I can from him,” added Salman, who made his cricket debut in 2013.
He did not, however, leave out the name of his coach from his younger years.
“Umar Sarwar … my coach, [it is] because of them that I’m here at this position.”