KARACHI - In-form left-handed batter Shan Masood was full of praise for his Derbyshire’s coach Mickey Arthur. 

Arthur is not an unknown name in Pakistan as he coached Pakistan team to Champions Trophy triumph in 2017. The country’s cricket fans highly celebrate Pakistan’s success in Arthur’s regime. Masood got a chance to play under the coaching of Arthur in County Cricket where he got his presence felt as a T20I batter. 

In a media interaction here on Saturday, Masood thanked Arthur for helping him out. “Playing county cricket has given me a lot of exposure to be honest,” he told reporters. “I would like to thank Derbyshire and especially Mickey Arthur for believing in me and helping me out,” he added.

Shan Masood got maiden T20I call-up in the national team following his superb run in the shorter format in recent times. Pakistan and England teams did practice together on Saturday. The two teams will play seven T20Is in Karachi and Lahore from September 20 to October 2. 

Masood is glad to get an opportunity to play for Pakistan in T20Is. “I am really excited and hopeful for a good return. It’s always a pleasure to represent Pakistan and performing is the second important thing,” the left-handed opener said.

Karachi-hailed cricketer usually plays as an opener but it looks like that he will be utilised as a middle-order batter this time around. To a question about his batting number, the cricketer said he is not thinking about it. “I don’t think about my batting number. I am feasible to play at any number and perform for my team. I am waiting for my turn and give back to the expectations people have from me,” he concluded. 

PSL WAS A STEPPING STONE IN MY CAREER: DAWID MALAN

England opener Dawid Malan credited Pakistan Super League (PSL) for shaping up his T20I career. Malan, who represented Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi respectively in PSL, called Pakistan’s franchise league different from county cricket. 

“It was great to play in the PSL as it provided me with an opportunity to explore what I can do moving forward in my career. Obviously, it was a stepping stone in my T20I career,” said Malan while thanking Zalmi and United for this great opportunity. 

Malan will be playing a historic seven-match T20I series against Pakistan as England marked their return to the cricket-crazy nation after 17 years. To a query about Pakistan fans, the left-handed explosive batter said he always loved their hospitality. “Pakistan has always welcomed us with open arms. It is fantastic to be back here and can’t wait to see crowd in the stadium,” he said.

TO a query regarding strength of Pakistan team, Malan said he thinks the green shirts have all boxes ticked. “Pakistan has always been a tough opponent. We always get challenge while playing against them. “The players with us have played in PSL, so we will try to share our experience of playing in these conditions,” he said.

Malan is obviously a bit worried about their regular captain Buttler’s absence due to injury but he believes that it would be a chance for other players to step up. “Buttler has always been phenomenal for us, especially during last couple of years when he was promoted up in the batting order. “His absence must be felt but I think it’s a good chance for other players to step up and fill in the space,” he asserted.