‘Ready to play at any position’: Sahibzada Farhan on upcoming NZ tour

Top order batter secures place in Pakistan’s 17-member team for New Zealand T20I series

Pakistan’s top order batter Sahibzada Farhan speaking in an exclusive interview with Geo News on December 19, 2023. — Reporter

KARACHI: Pakistan’s top order batter Sahibzada Farhan feels that he has evolved and matured since his debut in international cricket and is now poised to cement his position in the national squad.

Making his international debut in 2018, the 27-year-old cricketer faced a brief stint, participating in only three T20Is and accumulating 40 runs before being sidelined.

Subsequently, Farhan engaged himself in domestic cricket, consistently delivering standout performances over the past three seasons, forcing the national selectors to recall him to the national team for Pakistan’s upcoming assignment — the T20I series against New Zealand.

The batter, soon after he was named in Pakistan’s 17-member team for the T20I series, said that he’s looking forward to giving his best for the team.

Speaking exclusively to Geo News he said: “I am more excited than the excitement I had at the time of my debut because I believe my chance at that time came earlier than I expected. I wasn’t, maybe, prepared then but now I am mature after grinding in domestic season for four years.”

“International cricket is a different ball game, there’s a different sort of pressure in international cricket. Now I think I have gained good experience to handle that pressure,” he added.

Farhan recently emerged as the top scorer in the National T20 Cup, amassing an impressive 492 runs. Eager to replicate this success in the upcoming series against New Zealand, he referenced advice from his friend Iftikhar Ahmed.

“Iftikhar once told me that being selected for Pakistan isn’t a difficult task, but retaining your place is extremely challenging. I now look forward to giving my best and cementing my place in the team permanently,” he noted.

He also shared his thoughts on the debate which sparked social media during the national T20 Cup discussing him and Ahmed Shahzad.

Farhan said that he has a cordial relationship with Shahzad and he wishes him the best.

“I always love to see him [Shahazad] scoring runs, it is a coincidence that whenever he scores, I also [manage to] score there. It is always a competition when people in the same slot as you are also among run, a professional rivalry is a good thing,” he said.

“I’ve worked hard for the last four years to earn this call, and I am sure Shahzad is also working hard and I believe that he will get his chance too.”

Furthermore, Farhan acknowledged that there is tough competition in the top-order slot and he is ready to play at any position according to the team’s requirements.

“I’ve played at middle order in PSL, I’ve also played at two down positions, and I know how to bat at these positions so I am comfortable playing at any number where the team needs me,” he said.

“I believe that a player should get a proper chance in one or two series but now that competition is so tough that we have to perform even if there’s just one game for us, we have to perform and do well, and that’s what I am aiming to do – grab the opportunity, do well, and cement my place,” he concluded.

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