Highest wicket-taker till now, Hasnain savouring PSL experience at home

Published March 6, 2020
"The way people have embraced PSL is simply magnificent," says Hasnain. — Twitter/File
"The way people have embraced PSL is simply magnificent," says Hasnain. — Twitter/File

Young fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain aims to become an integral component of the national side, while the most successful wicket-taker in the ongoing HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 also wants to help Quetta Gladiators become the first franchise to retain the title.

Hasnain, the 19-year-old from Hyderabad, has yet to complete a full year on the international stage after making a wicketless One-day International debut against Australia in Sharjah on March 24, 2019. In five ODIs, he has grabbed as many wickets while has the same haul (five) in six Twenty20 Internationals, the format he played for the first time against England at Cardiff.

Touted as the ‘surprise weapon’ for the ICC 50-over World Cup last year, poor Hasnain never got an opportunity on the biggest platform.

In the PSL, Hasnain leads the bowling chart with 10 wickets and is mighty proud of his achievement. “Obviously, being at the top [bowling group] has made quite happy. Moreover, the PSL held in Pakistan for the first time is another moment of joy for all of us and playing in front of home fans has been an electrifying experience.

“I mean the crowds everywhere we have played thus far have been amazing. The way people have embrace the PSL is simply magnificent and only the worrying point is the weather here in Rawalpindi,” the soft-spoken Hasnain told Dawn on eve of Quetta Gladiators’ game against Peshawar Zalmi at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Thursday. “For sure, I’m enjoying every bit [of PSL] thoroughly not just being part of the Quetta side but also savouring each wicket that I’ve taken so far.

Hasnain reveals his future goals are to focus on playing Test cricket and the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia later in the year, while adding he is learning the art of mixing up deliveries as well as trying to stay in the best possible shape.

“Cricket in modern times is much hard and competitive; therefore, one has got to train as hard as possible to gain top fitness because without it [the fitness] there’s no chance of reaching the top level,” Hasnain stressed. “Like most youngsters, I have defined my targets and to achieve them one must keep aspiring for the best.

“The foremost to become a regular in the Pakistan team across all formats, meaning my dream is very clear that I want to play Test cricket too. And then probably the other big dream to is to play in the T20 World Cup.”

Talking briefly about Quetta’s mentor Sir Vivian Richards, Hasnain acknowledged the presence of the legendary batsman, who also led West Indies, as a defining inspiration.

“Sir Vivian is someone every member of the Quetta family holds in very high esteem. When I came to the squad last year, I was very reluctant about interacting with him. But he made feel at home in no time and I overcame the anxieties while enjoying his company.”

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2020

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