PakPassion caught up with 23 years old solid and consistent batsman for ZTBL, Haris with a view to finding out a little more about him, how he got into cricket, his favourite players and his career aspirations.
At 23 years of age, left handed middle order batsman Haris Sohail is being earmarked by many as a strong candidate for a place in the Pakistani middle order.
A solid and consistent batsman for ZTBL, Sohail averages over 46 in first class cricket and has 19 half centuries and 6 centuries already under his belt. An excellent season this time around in the First Division of the Quaid E Azam Trophy and selection for the PCB XI recently against England has really brought Haris into the limelight.
A highest score of 211 not out, the Sialkot born batsman is currently representing Punjab in the ongoing Pentangular Trophy against Federal Areas. In Punjab's total of 226 all out today, Haris top scored with 77.
PakPassion caught up with Haris with a view to finding out a little more about him, how he got into cricket, his favourite players and his career aspirations.
PakPassion.net : Haris it's good to speak with you. Do tell us all how you got into cricket?
Haris Sohail : Like all my friends I got interested in cricket at school. At first it was just for fun, in parks and at school, but gradually I became more serious about my cricket. I went for Under 19 trials with Sialkot and impressed the coaches there and was selected.
The Sialkot coaches at the camp organised a match of all the boys that had impressed them and thankfully I managed to make a good score in that side match. From there the interest in cricket developed and I started taking my cricket more seriously
PakPassion.net : So you played all of your junior cricket in Sialkot or did you move out of the area?
Haris Sohail : I played all of my junior cricket in the Sialkot region before making my first class debut for Sialkot against Karachi Whites in 2007.
PakPassion.net : How did the jump from Sialkot Under 19s to the Sialkot first team come about?
Haris Sohail : I was the captain of the Sialkot Under 19s in the 2006/2007 season and we reached the final of the Under 19 tournament against Rawalpindi. I scored a century in the final and we won the match. Straight after the final I was told that I would be playing for Sialkot against Karachi in the Quaid E Azam Trophy. It was a hectic journey as I travelled straight after the Under 19 final to Gujranwala onto Lahore and then got a flight to Karachi to play the next day.
PakPassion.net : How long were you at Sialkot for and how did the move to ZTBL come about?
Haris Sohail : I played for Sialkot for one season only before I moved to ZTBL in 2008. This is my fourth season at ZTBL.
PakPassion.net : You currently bat in the middle order. Have you always been a middle order batsman or have you perhaps opened the innings too in the past?
Haris Sohail : I've always batted in the middle order.
PakPassion.net : Your favourite/best shot?
Haris Sohail : That would be the straight drive and the on-drive.
PakPassion.net : Your favourite batsmen and heroes of the past?
Haris Sohail : That would be Brian Lara, Saeed Anwar and Mike Hussey. All great left handers, all different types of batsmen but great to watch and to learn from.
PakPassion.net : You've gradually improved as a batsman and last season was a very good season for you in the Quaid E Azam Trophy. What areas of your game are you looking to improve upon?
Haris Sohail : The plan is to be a successful sportsman and do myself justice and my family proud. I have big hopes and ambitions and of course I want to play for my country for a long time. As a cricketer, each day you wake up and you look to learn and to improve. The opportunities are endless, it's down to the individual to make the best of those opportunities.
PakPassion.net : You've had a particularly good season this time around in the Quaid E Azam Trophy, scoring just under 900 runs at an average of over 50. Today you've scored 77 in the Pentangular Cup for Punjab. What do you put this good run of form down to?
Haris Sohail : Technically I made a few adjustments to what we thought were weak points in my batting. Before the Quaid E Azam Trophy started I worked really hard on some areas of my batting and thankfully that hard work seems to have paid off.
PakPassion.net : You've been selected for the Punjab team in the Pentangular Cup. You must be pleased and see it as another opportunity to shine?
Haris Sohail : Yes it's valuable experience because you get the opportunity to play against the best of the other region's players. My form is good, the confidence is high and I'm hopeful that this competition will also be a successful one for me.
PakPassion.net : You were a member of the PCB XI team that recently played against England, tell us about that experience?
Haris Sohail : No doubt about it, the experience was a wonderful one. To get the opportunity to play against the excellent England bowling attack was brilliant. Unfortunately I could only score 6 and 11 respectively but I learnt so much from the experience. Obviously I hope that in future I get more chances such as this to play against top class bowlers.
PakPassion.net : Your hopes and plans for the future?
Haris Sohail : I just pray that I can do my level best for my domestic team and if the chance comes in future for my country.
PakPassion.net : Best wishes for the future.
Haris Sohail : Many Thanks.