Khur­ram pleased af­ter World T20 call-up

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Re­called open­ing bats­man Khur­ram Man­zoor ad­mit­ted be­ing 'speech­less' af­ter he was named in the Pak­istan squad for the next month's ICC World Twenty20 in In­dia de­spite never hav­ing rep­re­sented the coun­try in the short­est form of cricket.

The 29-year-old right-han­der, who was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously dis­carded af­ter play­ing the last of his 16 Tests dur­ing the tour of Sri Lanka in Au­gust 2014, told Dawn on Thurs­day that the frus­tra­tion of not be­ing picked by any of the five fran­chises for the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of the on­go­ing Pak­istan Su­per League (PSL) had been par­tially made up by his se­lec­tion for both World Twenty20 and the T20 Asia Cup that pre­cedes the bian­nual ICC com­pe­ti­tion.

"The mo­ment I came to know of my in­clu­sion [in the Pak­istan squad] for the two tour­na­ments in the af­ter­noon, I had no words to say. For a while, I be­came speech­less and just kept star­ing at my wife who was sit­ting with at the time," Khur­ram re­vealed. "I just couldn't be­lieve my for­tune had changed at that par­tic­u­lar junc­ture af­ter the huge dis­ap­point­ment of be­ing over­looked for the PSL. But now I have this over-the-moon sort of feel­ing. "Per­haps, this [Pak­istan se­lec­tion] was des­tined for me. I thought for a while, that one shouldn't never give up and keep­ing try­ing. Almighty Al­lah has been very, very kind to me in this re­gard since I al­ways as hard as oth­ers to im­prove my game and bet­ter the skills.

"No­body ap­proached me to ex­plain as to why I was over­looked the PSL. I was flab­ber­gasted and felt deeply hurt by the treat­ment meted out to me."

Khur­ram, who has ap­peared in just seven One-day In­ter­na­tion­als since Fe­bru­ary 2008, be­lieved that not play­ing in Twenty20 In­ter­na­tion­als wouldn't be a hur­dle sine he had been play­ing a lot of T20 games both at the re­gional and city lev­els.

"Hon­estly speak­ing I don't think not play­ing at the in­ter­na­tional T20 level put me un­der some sort of pres­sure. Af­ter all, I had been play­ing T20 cricket for ages be­cause this keeps me in shape and at the peak of fit­ness. Here in Karachi we usu­ally play a lot of such matches es­pe­cially dur­ing the holy month of Ra­mazan," he stressed.

"As a pro­fes­sional, one is taught to ad­just to any form of cricket you play. The ques­tion of get­ting ner­vous on the big oc­ca­sion is some­thing that hap­pen to any­one but I al­ways make a point to pre­pare ac­cord­ingly and never let men­tal stress come into my mind."

Khur­ram, who has made 1,834 runs at 29.11 with the helpof two cen­turies in 68 na­tional T20 games witj a strike rate of 116.14, termed the up­com­ing tour­na­ments as big chal­lenges for Pak­istan. "Our per­for­mance as a team has not been that great of late.

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