SLPL will help Pakistan players in T20 World Cup: Hafeez
Colombo: Pakistan`s Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez feels his side will have no trouble getting into the groove quickly during next month`s Twenty20 World Cup as most of the team`s players have managed to get a fair idea of the conditions after competing in the Sri Lankan Premier League.
"Most of Pakistani players in the T20 World Cup squad are in the SLPL and two venues in SLPL (R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo and Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy) will host the T20 World Cup and so it will help us. We will get into the groove easily,"
"The PCB gave permission to play in SLPL as it thinks it would be helpful for us since the World Cup will be held here in a few days time,"
"As a captain, I want Pakistan to win each match of the World Cup and in fact the trophy. But T20 is an unpredictable game and so I don`t want to predict anything."
Besides Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Shoail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal and Imran Nazir were part of the SLPL though they have departed now for national duty against Australia starting next week.
Hafeez said he remains a fan of Test cricket but felt that T20 has also carved out its place by helping promising youngsters gain a quick foothold in international cricket.
"I am a big fan of Test cricket but I must say that T20
leagues, be it IPL or SLPL, have helped the youngsters, especially of the home country to come through. It is good for the game. The youngsters got to play with the best in the country and international players,"
"In Wayamba United, we have players like Akhila Dhananjaya who have not played any first class cricket but is in the SLPL. He has done well and has got the national call-up," he said.
The 31-year-old all-rounder said that he wants to play in the IPL and any other T20 league in the world if his international schedule permits.
"I played in the IPL first season (for Kolkata Knight Riders) and I would love to play again given a chance. I play in the three formats and it is difficult to find the time to play in such leagues.
"Whenever there is no clash with international schedule I want to play in other leagues also just like I am playing in SLPL."
Asked about the absence of Indian players in the SLPL after the BCCI did not permit them to participate, Hafeez said, "It would have been great to have seen not only the Indian players but also other big international stars who were to take part but could not."
Hafeez, who will take no further part in the SLPL as he is leaving for home today for the Australia series in the UAE, scored just 58 runs in the three matches and took four wickets from the four matches.