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  1. #1
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    "Sarfraz Ahmed will take the Pakistan One-Day team forward" : Asad Shafiq

    Already established as a key member of Pakistan's Test batting line-up, thirty-one-year-old Asad Shafiq is currently an integral part of the Quetta Gladiators squad in the Pakistan Super League. With an impressive record of over one-hundred and twenty international appearances where he has scored over four-thousand and eight-hundred runs, he is now looking to help his PSL side to reach the pinnacle in 2017.

    In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Shafiq spoke about his overall PSL experience, his views on Pakistan's new ODI captain Sarfraz Ahmed, his interaction with Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen and why he thinks Quetta have the capability to win this year's PSL.





    PakPassion.net : How has the experience been so far of this year's Pakistan Super League?

    Asad Shafiq : Itís been a great experience playing in the PSL so far. As you will recall, I also played for Quetta Gladiators last year but unfortunately got just one game. This time around, I have played most of the games so far and I am feeling very good about myself. To be honest, I was expecting the tracks in Dubai to be more friendly towards spinners but that hasnít always been the case it seems. I feel that the tracks in Dubai are also conducive to fast-bowlers and the ball is coming on nicely for the batsmen which makes it very enjoyable. I think I have played well so far and I believe that I am not too far away from playing a big innings.


    PakPassion.net : You had a tough and in some parts disappointing tour of Australia. Are you looking at the PSL as a way of proving your critics wrong?

    Asad Shafiq : The pitches in Australia were very tough to bat on and as an Asian batsman to perform out there is a big challenge. It was a great experience for me to go out there and adapt to local conditions. To score a hundred in a Test on those pitches was very pleasing. That also gave me a lot of confidence as it showed that I could also score runs in foreign conditions as well. Unfortunately for the team we did not win matches barring one in the ODI series but the fact is that we played some good cricket. I am really proud of the way our team played but there were some really close games that we lost which we really should have won. As a batsman, I really enjoyed the challenge in Australia. I am now playing in the PSL and enjoying myself tremendously. I am not here to prove my worth or stature as a batsman in limited over formats as my only aim is to ensure that I improve as a batsman during this tournament.


    PakPassion.net : What do you make of Sarfraz Ahmed as a captain?

    Asad Shafiq : I have been playing under his captaincy for a long time now as Sarfraz and I have been playing in the same club and the same department as well. Unlike many others who have just started to appreciate his captaincy, I have already had a fair idea of what he is like as a captain. He is an aggressive captain and leads from the front. Even in club cricket which is generally played in a very relaxed style, Sarfraz does not allow us to take it easy and comes down hard if he sees us not putting in our hundred percent. This is a huge plus point for Sarfraz that he never takes anything lightly in cricket. It does not matter if it is club cricket or an international game, the intensity that Sarfraz shows is always the same and of the highest quality. I think Sarfraz will take the Pakistan One-Day team forward.


    PakPassion.net : What sort of interaction do you have with Viv Richards who is a mentor for Quetta Gladiators?

    Asad Shafiq : We all have a great rapport with Viv. Even in the first edition, he was with us but at that time I had just heard of him as a legendary batsman. I had never met or spoken to him before. When I did meet him in person, I was impressed by the fact that he is a great human being as well. He has a friendly personality and he can deal with every player on equal terms. With the depth of experience he has from his playing days, Viv is able to deal with and understand players and provide them the advice which is catered and suitable for them. A few days ago, when I lost my wicket he came over to me and spoke to me at length about how I should have fashioned my innings in that situation to help the team. In cricket, you learn something new every day but when that lesson is given to you by one of the greats of cricket then it does stick in your head forever.


    PakPassion.net : Kevin Pietersen is a big name in cricket and it must be great playing alongside such great players?

    Asad Shafiq : The value of playing alongside and in the same team as KP is absolutely fantastic. He has been giving me some excellent tips since the first time I met him at the PSL last year. He pointed out changes that I need to do in my Twenty20 game. But itís not just me whom he helps. He always has some excellent advice for the whole team whether we are in the team bus or in training. His aggressive game is just a treat to watch not only as a spectator but even for me as a student of the game.


    PakPassion.net : Which younger players have impressed you in the Quetta Gladiators squad?

    Asad Shafiq : I will say without any hesitation that Hasan Khan is a young cricketer in our team who has really impressed me. He is an exceptional fielder and a utility batsman who can come in at any situation and give you those important runs. Of course, he is also a brilliant spinner as well. In my view, he will prove to be an excellent prospect for Pakistan in the coming years.


    PakPassion.net : How much were the players effected by the corruption issue at the PSL?

    Asad Shafiq : There was no change in our commitment to winning this tournament. Whatever happened, only affected the players involved in that issue. Things like that can happen in the world we live in, but it has had no affect on our goals which is to take Quetta Gladiators to the top.


    PakPassion.net : Quetta Gladiators came so near to winning the 2016 edition, is there a determination in the squad to complete the job this year?

    Asad Shafiq : There werenít many people who were expecting us to come that far in the inaugural edition of the PSL but we did that. No one rated us at all and people were surprised when we got to the final. This year we have had a good start and have become the first team to qualify for the play-offs so our confidence is sky-high. The way we kicked off the tournament by winning a match from a tight situation did wonders for the teamís unity and morale. We took a lot of positives from that tournament opener and havenít looked back since as you saw in Sharjah where we chased down the highest total of this yearís tournament. The belief that we can now win from any situation is firmly implanted in the team. We expect to carry on in this way and go all the way to the top and finish the job this year.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  2. #2
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    To his credit he has stuck it out at the PSL.

    Good comments on Sarfraz - encouraging to hear that our new captain comes well recommended by a lot of people


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  3. #3
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    Spot on abt Sarfi.. One reason Pak won the u-19 wc 2006 was Sarfi the fighter captain...


    What do you make of Sarfraz Ahmed as a captain?

    Asad Shafiq : I have been playing under his captaincy for a long time now as Sarfraz and I have been playing in the same club and the same department as well. Unlike many others who have just started to appreciate his captaincy, I have already had a fair idea of what he is like as a captain. He is an aggressive captain and leads from the front. Even in club cricket which is generally played in a very relaxed style, Sarfraz does not allow us to take it easy and comes down hard if he sees us not putting in our hundred percent. This is a huge plus point for Sarfraz that he never takes anything lightly in cricket. It does not matter if it is club cricket or an international game, the intensity that Sarfraz shows is always the same and of the highest quality. I think Sarfraz will take the Pakistan One-Day team forward.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  4. #4
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    Good comments, it tells us that Sarfraz is not like many other Pakistani players and infact is a pretty hard worker who is sincere to Pakistan cricket,every sign is there that he will become a true champion leader and will take Pakistan to glory.

  5. #5
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    I am starting to worry about Sarfraz's Friend and family approach, too many mediocre players are playing in Quetta team as granunteed spot (Sharfiq, Anwar and Zulfi), we may see all three of them next year as well. Some of them in national team...He is following the foot steps of Misbah, who was more focused on loyalty(Hafeez, Azhar, Zulfi, Shafiq,Imran,Rahat) than quality, it has brought down the quality standards, no pressure on players to perform, bringing down the expectation from fans and management, sell drum beat of "We don't have enough talent" to mgmt and fans to extend your mediocre career...Sarfraz himself like Misbah is very average LOI player to begin with...We have seen in PSL in this marketing pitch as well, every team is filled with mediocre middle age players


    If you want to do things that are certain to succeed, you are doing very obvious thing - E Musk

  6. #6
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    I think Sarfraz Ahmed will take the Pakistan One-Day team forward without Asad Shafiq .. Shafiq is not an ODI type player . He is like Misbah and Azhar Ali. Asad Shafiq can only produce dot balls .. Which is better for test side

  7. #7
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    Shafiq has done fairly well in PSL 2

    Nice comments on Sarfraz and also impressed by the fact that he pushed the guys even in club cricket


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post
    Shafiq has done fairly well in PSL 2

    Nice comments on Sarfraz and also impressed by the fact that he pushed the guys even in club cricket
    one good innings, rest of that has been awful, by that metric Umar and Gayle have also done well


    going back to the main point of this thread, any ODI future that includes Asad is taking a step back.

    Incredibly nice individual, but should be nowhere near a green shirt, stick to tests.


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  9. #9
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    Asad Shafiq himself is saying that Hasan Khan is an exceptional talent but how many times has he batted? You've played literally every player who can hold a bat above him including the likes of Anwar Ali and you consider that guy to be exceptional!

  10. #10
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    Asad should not be in the odi team ..
    Hope Sarfi wont have any say in the return of Asad


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  11. #11
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    He has shown good commitment and very energetic with good results uptill now and hopeful for his and Pakistan future.

  12. #12
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    It will be interesting to see how things develop with Sarfraz as the ODI skipper.

    WK, captain and expected to score crucial runs - high expectations indeed.



  13. #13
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    yeah hopefully without you in it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    It will be interesting to see how things develop with Sarfraz as the ODI skipper.

    WK, captain and expected to score crucial runs - high expectations indeed.
    At least he will do better than Azhar.

    No way Sarfraz will allow another team to score 444.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  15. #15
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    My concern is that he doesn't bring the old pals act into selection.



  16. #16
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    Under Sarfraz the team will not be any better or worse than it is at the moment. The batting lacks both quality and depth and the much vaunted bowling lineup is very average and unless those things are sorted it doesnt matter who the coach or captain is. If Sarfraz does recall mediocre players like Assad, Anwar Ali then his reign will be a short one.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Under Sarfraz the team will not be any better or worse than it is at the moment. The batting lacks both quality and depth and the much vaunted bowling lineup is very average and unless those things are sorted it doesnt matter who the coach or captain is. If Sarfraz does recall mediocre players like Assad, Anwar Ali then his reign will be a short one.
    If at any point Sarfraz picks Anwar Ali, I will demand his resignation.

  18. #18
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    I agree Sarfraz will definitely improve our LO team. Like the way he uses the bowlers .

    Sarfraz and Mickey is a good combination for Pakistan cricket .

  19. #19
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    Forward from their ranking 9th ,that's not a hard task at all to take them forward

    Tbf Ahmed is not even the best wk batsman in Pakistan


    "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles"

  20. #20
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    People are deluded.

    We'll do good ONLY if we include modern LOI batsmen who can score fast against pace.

    SIMPLE as that.


    At the end of a stressful, depressing day, a dose of cricket is what can cheer us up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat_Track_Bully View Post
    If at any point Sarfraz picks Anwar Ali, I will demand his resignation.
    Don't be surprised if he does. Seems like Anwar Ali is joined at the hip to Sarfraz Ahmed.



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