KARACHI: Pakistan’s talented batsman Umar Akmal reflects that the star all-rounder Shahid Afrdi is still capable of turning the matches on its head with the bat and the ball.
A reunion is on its way when Umar and Afridi meet each other in the Natwest T20 Blast game coming Friday. Both the players have been with each other at the same pitch many times, and we have seen them fighting together for a mutual goal, but this time it’s different.
Umar believes Afridi’s early wicket could be a huge benefit for the Leicestershire Foxes when they take on Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
“The plan will be to get Shahid out as soon as possible or he could run riot,” Akmal told PakPassion.net Chief Editor Sajid Sadiq. “He’s a player who has been a game-changer with either bat or ball over the years and still remains a very dangerous player.
“He’s an entertainer and a dangerous opponent. I’m sure it will be fun playing against Shahid again and I hope that I can do well and help Leicestershire to another victory in the NatWest T20 Blast.”
Umar was unbeaten on 76 off mere 49 balls when his innings lead his team to a victory over rivals Nottinghamshire Outlaws last Friday.
He said: “I didn’t really know what to expect and what the crowd would be like. When the match started, Trent Bridge had a big crowd, the atmosphere was very good and I was really keen to do well.
“We weren’t chasing a huge total, but lost early wickets so we had to rebuild the innings, but once I got settled in, the ball was hitting the middle of my bat nicely.
“I was told to ensure that I batted to the end and to make sure I saw the team home and thankfully that’s what happened which was very pleasing. It was good to make an early impression and I’m glad that we beat one of the strongest teams in the competition.”
Following the footsteps of his seniors Afridi and Abdul Razzaq, Umar is enjoying some amazing cricket with the Leicestershire Foxes.
Umar said: “Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi played for Leicestershire and are remembered fondly here. Both Abdul and Shahid said to me that it was a great club, well-run, with great support and that it would be an excellent chance for me to play against and alongside some good cricketers.
“They have both been immense cricketers around the world and I hope that in my short spell for Leicestershire I can leave the club with some happy memories in the same way that Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi did.”
According to Umar, he follows a very straight-forward philosophy of playing aggressive cricket.
“My cricketing philosophy is simple, I play aggressive cricket,” he said. “I’d like to do well individually and obviously score a lot of runs, but the most important thing is to try my best and help Leicestershire win the matches that I will be a part of.
“It’s a learning experience for me and will definitely help with my development as a cricketer. I think the more countries you play in, the more you can improve as a cricketer.”
Published in Express Tribune