Mohammad Nabi, playing for St Lucia Zouks in ongoing Caribbean Premier League has already taken nine wickets in just six matches averaging just 10.67 and at an incredible economy of 4.8. He has also scored 120 runs averaging 40 in 5 innings. He has Three Man of the Match awards in six matches against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots twice and Barbados Tridents once.
Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan’s all-rounder has set the Caribbean Premier League on fire with stellar performances with both bat and ball. His latest performance came when he bowled a terrific spell of 5 for 15 openings the bowling for St Lucia Zouks which limited St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for just 110 and set up an easy win by 6 wickets for Zouks. He picked up crucial wickets of Chris Lynn, Evin Lewis and Denesh Ramdin besides picking up Nick Kelly and Sohail Tanvir.
Mohammad Nabi Says CPL Will Serve As Preparation For IPL
He is one of the prime reasons for his team are second in the table with four wins from six matches. The Afghanistan all-rounder was the first player to be picked in 2020 edition which has worked wonders for Zouks who don’t have a star lineup.
He acknowledges that the absence of star players meant his presence in the team was more than just a player. St Lucia Zouks are second with 8 points behind Trinbago Knight Riders in CPL 2020 who have won all 5 matches and have 10 points in the bag.
“There are not big star players, but we have quality good youngsters,” he told Cricketnext. “We have some senior players and experience as well, and we’ll share the experience with the youngsters and hopefully we’ll try our best and bring the team to the semifinals.”
“As a senior player, I see my role as not just a player but we try our best to share our experiences with the youngsters during the game and also throughout the tournament. As a senior player, I have to perform for the team as well, both as a batsman and a bowler.”
Apart from Mohammad Nabi, star players like Thisara Perera, Darren Sammy and Lasith Malinga are in their list.
The 35-year-old Mohammad Nabi said he was extremely happy to play cricket after a break due to Covid-19 when cricket matches and tournaments were cancelled or postponed to stop spreading of the virus. The cricketers stayed at home and had a few training exercises, but could not practice even at nets. He feels the Caribbean Premier League will serve as a preparation for the upcoming Indian Premier League.
“It’s been a long time since we played cricket,” he said. “In the last Four months we didn’t play any cricket. We just had training sessions at home, after one month (of staying at home) we went for training and had a few knocks, but it wasn’t a proper nets either.”
“Now we’re in CPL and I’m really excited to be playing in CPL this time. We’ll try our best to play good cricket and enjoy our cricket. Playing for Zouks will really help in the upcoming matches (after the CPL). I’ve got the IPL for me after this, this will be a proper preparation for it.”
He also felt that the induced break gave them a lesson that mostly cricketers have nothing to do apart from playing cricket.
“It was a big lesson for everyone, not just for me. Because without cricket, we are nothing,” he said. “We just stay at home and we did nothing. I just did my charity work, luckily I got a lot of time for my charity. I did a lot for my country and poor people there. For cricketers, without cricket there is nothing in life. So it was a big lesson for everyone.”
Mohammad Nabi has also recently been inducted into the Afghan Cricket Board, said the virus has taken away opportunities for rising teams like Afghanistan.
“Every team has been disturbed by COVID-19, especially Afghanistan has been disturbed a lot,” he explained. “Because we missed Asia Cup and a few series against Ireland apart from the (T20) World Cup, and we have to see what happens to the Test against Australia. But hopefully it means we have a lot of cricket next year as a national duty.
“We are focusing on that as well, we’ll try our best to perform when we get the opportunity and take Afghan cricket forward. We also have the ODI World Cup Super League so we expect a lot of matches from next year.”
However, he hoped that the lack of cricket due to Covid-19 in 2020 would be compensated in 2021 and they are looking forward to playing well against the mighty Australians next.
Mohammad Nabi Happy To See Afghanistan’s Presence In Global T20 Leagues
He was also happy with Afghanistan’s presence in T20 leagues around the globe as six Afghanistan players play in the ongoing CPL, with one of them being Mujeeb Ur Rahman who is even leading the wickets list with 12 scalps.
“It’s a great sign for Afghan players to play all over the world in T20 games. It means that Afghanistan has a lot of quality players especially in T20 cricket. There are six Afghan players in the CPL this year,” he said. “This is the most in terms of numbers for Afghanistan players in the CPL. I’m really happy as an Afghan player and hopefully more youngsters come to play other leagues as well.”
Finally, he is also looking forward to playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL but hopes to remain safe and adhere to the security protocols in UAE where the IPL will be played.
“The bio bubble is very tough,” he said. “Of course, the situation from the last few months is such that we quarantined 14 days for the CPL. And from here into the IPL, we’ll still be quarantined there as well. It is tough, yeah but hopefully we remain safe.”
Sunrisers Hyderabad will feature the likes of David Warner, Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, Bhuvaneswar Kumar and Manish Pandey to name a few.