ISLAMABAD: All-rounder Imad Wasim cannot wait to get back to the playing field saying he wants Pakistan to reclaim their top spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 rankings through the series against England this summer.
Imad said he was looking forward to the team’s tour to England for three Tests and T20s, as he would return to his routine life.
The 31-year-old, who has scored 952 runs in 53 ODIs for Pakistan, said the England tour was important for the players noting it was the first tour following the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
“I am very eager to be back on cricket field. It has been a long time, not only for us but for all sportspersons. They all want to play their sport and want to get back on the field,” a private news channel quoted Imad as saying.
The all-rounder has been a regular feature in Pakistan’s white-ball squad and would likely be named in the 25-member squad for England.
“Obviously, for cricket and cricketers it is a very important tour, you are getting back to your life and routine which is very important. The thing is, every cricketer wants to play, whether closed doors or with crowds.”
According to a tentative plan, Pakistan would play the first Test in Manchester on Aug 5, followed by the next two Tests in Southampton on Aug 13 and 21, respectively. All three T20s would be staged in Manchester on Aug 28, 30 and Sept 1.
Imad, who scored 267 runs in 43 T20s, said Pakistan wants to reclaim their top spot in the ICC T20 rankings through the series.
“We want to regain our top position in T20s. I want to see Pakistan among top three ranked sides in all formats. My personal goal is to perform well and improve my ranking as bowler and as all-rounder. But winning the series is more important because England is one of the world’s best sides.”
Pakistan’s forthcoming series in England will be played in a bio-secure environment under fresh guidelines to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
The guidelines included a prohibition on using saliva, a practice which almost every bowler follows to shine the ball. According to Imad, it will be difficult for bowlers to restrain themselves from this habit.
“It is very difficult because it’s a habit to use saliva on the ball but we will have to respect the ICC’s decision. Obviously it is going to be difficult but once you know that someone else’s life can be in danger then one will be more mindful,” he remarked.
Imad, who has 42 wickets each in 53 ODIs and 43 T20s, respectively, said during the lockdown he spent time with his family but also increased his training to keep himself fit.
“These are hard times and it is important to keep yourself physically fit,” he said.
Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2020