PSL 2019: Quetta coach Moin Khan envisions bright Pakistan future for Umar and Shehzad

Waseem Ahmed 17:01 10/03/2019
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Quetta coach Moin Khan (l). Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Quetta Gladiators coach Moin Khan believes Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad have a strong future ahead of themselves with the Pakistan national team.

The duo had previously fallen out of favour with the Pakistan national team set up owing to contrasting reasons. Akmal had a public fall-out with Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur while Shehzad has not featured for the national team ever since he tested positive in a dope test last year.

However, the two players have managed to grab eyeballs with their performances for Quetta in the ongoing 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL). Umar is the fourth-highest Pakistan run-scorer in the ongoing campaign with 228 runs in nine innings which have come with the help of two half-centuries.

The top-order batsman’s form has seen him earn a recall to the Pakistan side for the upcoming ODI series against Australia while Shehzad has started to impress too with back-to-back half-centuries in his last two outings for Quetta after a poor start to his campaign.

“Entire Pakistan knows how talented both players are, they are too good especially in this format,” Moin told the media on Saturday.

“You know when a player has the ability and can deliver not only for your team but for Pakistan also, and I personally believe both are deserving players. They are the kind of players who can walk into the Pakistan team anytime and Umar gave that example recently.

Akmal has been in excellent form. Image - @thePSLt20/Twitter.

Akmal has been in excellent form. Image – @thePSLt20/Twitter.

“Unfortunately, Ahmed wasn’t in form earlier but later he also came into form.”

The former Pakistan skipper lauded the two Quetta batsmen for the discipline they have shown in the side’s PSL campaign which has seen them rise to the top of the standings.

“Coaches aren’t only supposed to diagnose the disease but should provide the treatment as well. Unfortunately, whatever happened with these kids earlier, they are good players and our assets. So all we did was treat them right and gave them the due respect,” he stated.

“If a player is given the respect he deserves then I don’t think there is any reason for him to not perform well. They have behaved well throughout the tournament, they have a good discipline and that’s why they are performing.

“So, with a clear mind I can say that if both keeping doing this, they can be in the Pakistan team in the future.”

Akmal and Shehzad will be in action on Sunday at Karachi in what is Quetta’s final league fixture of the PSL campaign. Having already secured a top-two finish, the Gladiators will be looking to finish on a high when they take on Karachi Kings.

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