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Chris Jordan spoke exclusively to PakPassion.net where he discussed the role of Twenty20 tournaments like the PSL in the skills development of cricketers and looked forward to a successful stint with Peshawar Zalmi.
 
By Amir Husain (6th February, 2017)
 
The Pakistan Super League (PSL) may well be another Twenty20 tournament in the busy life of today’s truly international cricketer but if the success and prestige associated with the inaugural edition of the tournament is any guide, the second edition of the PSL is easily expected to surpass the excitement generated last year.
 
Quite apart from the hype and buzz associated with a high-profile tournament such as the PSL, the discerning cricket fans will also be looking forward to watching some high-quality cricket games, played by some top quality local and international players
 
In this regard, one of England’s top Twenty20 talents in the shape of the twenty-eight-year-old Chris Jordan is likely to fit the bill as far as fans of cricket and especially Peshawar Zalmi are concerned.
 
Having represented England in twenty-two T20I games, Jordan has picked up an impressive twenty-six wickets with his best performance of 4/28 coming against Sri Lanka in the World T20 of 2016.
 
In the UAE to represent Peshawar Zalmi, Chris Jordan spoke exclusively to PakPassion.net where he discussed the role of Twenty20 tournaments like the PSL in the skills development of cricketers and looked forward to a successful stint with Peshawar Zalmi.
 
Having been picked for the Peshawar squad in the 2016 edition of the PSL, Chris Jordan was called into the England squad for the tour of South Africa and could not play any games for the Zalmis. This year, however, Jordan is eagerly looking forward to this experience and is impressed with the welcome he has received stating that, “It’s a great honour to be part of the PSL this year. I was supposed to join Zalmis last year but England duties took precedence but I am glad they decided to retain me and I will be playing for them this year. It’s all been great fun so far where I have also learnt some phrases in Pashto and URDU to say as well. All in all, the Zalmi team have been incredible as they have made me feel quite welcome and I am really looking forward to getting started with the games now.”
 
The lure of Twenty20 cricket has the obvious financial advantages and provides players with international exposure but as Jordan explained, it is also a great learning experience which can vastly improve players' skills.
 
“I have been quite fortunate to have played in a few different Twenty20 Leagues and its always refreshing to meet different players and personalities. This is interesting in itself but also helps in improving and evolving my game. What I have found since I started playing Twenty20 cricket is that I have become a little smarter in that I have added more skills to my armoury such as the slower balls. I now know much more about the ideal field-placings and when to bowl which type of ball. I am also able to study and analyse batsmen and judge their key scoring areas so yes, in about eighteen months or so of playing Twenty20 cricket, I have become much smarter as a player.”
 
Apart from improving a player in many aspects of his game, the advent of the modern Twenty20 leagues has also provided an unexpected bonus for the players’ respective teams that at least in Chris Jordan’s case has proved to be very useful for England as he explained, “You end up learning new skills playing with different personalities but the key thing is that you pick some new ideas. These are subtle changes in your game as the idea isn’t to change too much but to improve and add to your strengths. Of course, this helps you when you go back to your international team as it only makes your team stronger.”
 
A temporary home for Pakistan’s international cricket team, the UAE will also be hosting its second edition of the PSL to be played in some impressive facilities. Whilst Dubai and Sharjah may not have the reputation of some of the top venues around the world, the pitch and atmospheric conditions do represent a unique challenge for the top cricketers in the world as they take part in the PSL.
 
“Bowling on tracks in the UAE is all about playing smart cricket. This involves use of variety and knowing when to bowl which ball and to have the right field settings. We have to understand that Twenty20 has become a batters game so you have to bowl smarter if you wish to get anywhere. Playing in the UAE is about using your brains and taking your skills to a higher level so that under-pressure you are able to execute your plans confidently.”
 
Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal are some of the big names of Pakistan cricket who will not only bring the crowds to the stadiums but could also take Zalmi to the top. Being part of such a select group of cricketers will be an amazing experience in itself for Jordan but helping the team lift the trophy will be the ultimate prize and one that he is looking forward to as he concluded, “The way they initially played last year when Peshawar Zalmi were the outstanding team in the group stages, it was disappointing that they had to bow out in the latter part of the tournament. We will definitely be looking to go that one step further in this year’s PSL. I really admired the pride and passion of everyone who played last year and I hope to become part of that environment in this edition of the PSL and help Peshawar lift the trophy.”