There Is No Pressure, We’ll play Our Best, Says Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed will be facing the biggest challenge of his career when he walks out as the leader of the Pakistan team against arch-rival India in the final of the Champions Trophy 2017 at the KIA Oval, London.
The high octane game comes with its own burden of tension and expectations. Sarfaraz, who is playing his first big tournament, will especially play with a lot of pressure. However, the 30-year-old is completely relaxed.
“Pressure ka swaaal nahin hai (It’s not about the pressure). We’ll play our best, rest is up to Allah,” said the Karachi-born cricketer Sarfraz on Friday in an interview The Telegraph.
The Pakistan cricket team is currently at the Grange City Hotel where Sarfaraz has the special company of his wife Khushbakht and four-month-old son Abdullah to boost his confidence ahead of the special game. The two have been travelling with him since the start of the tournament.
Wife Khushbakht states that her presence hasn’t added any extra expectations on Sarfaraz.
“Mere rehne se koi pressure nahin hai inpe (My presence never affects him as a cricketer),” a smiling Khushbakht pointed out.
Sarfaraz mostly tried to stay away from the match related question. When asked about the skipper whom he likes the most, Sarfraz revealed Imran Khan as his favourite.
“Sabke favourite Imran (Khan) hain, to mere bhi wahi favourite.”
Sarfaraz has received good review so far for his leadership skills. Mushtaq Mohammed, a former captain, compared him with the legendary batsman of Javed Miandad. Mushtaq felt that the wicket keeper has “shades” of Miandad in him and can become hugely successful if he finds a couple of world class players.
Sarfraz’s matured nature has even prompted many to pit him as one of the strong contenders for the Test captaincy role which is currently with Azhar Ali.
“Itne bade player aur captain ke saath. Miandad to bahut hi bade hain,” he said.
“Inshallah woh players zaroor milenge (Quality players will emerge).”
Sarfraz and the rest of the squad will be interacting with the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan at his Swiss Cottage residence over a dinner before the final.
India and Pakistan have already met before in the group stages of the tournament on June 4th, Edgbaston. During that meeting, India got better of their rivals by a huge margin of 124 runs. This embarrassing loss, however, acted a huge source of inspiration which saw the Men in Green stun stronger opponents like South Africa and England to reach the finals.
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