Thursday Jul 23, 2020
Pakistan's first-choice wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan has spoken of the respect he has for his captain-turned-understudy Sarfaraz Ahmed, but also made it clear that having patiently waited his turn for years, it is now his time to shine.
Rizwan and Sarfaraz are caught in an awkward situation, with the former benefiting from the latter's demotion directly, taking his spot in the team last year, although the ongoing tour of England is the first time that the two are in the squad with Rizwan being the main man.
The new number one admits that there is a healthy rivalry between the two but not before paying tribute to the man himself.
"Saifi Bhai is my crown jewel. I myself am a big fan of his but this world is one giant test. At times it tests you by blessing you and sometimes by depriving you," Rizwan said in a video conference from Derby, England where the national team is currently preparing for the upcoming Test series.
Rizwan rejected the notion that having an experienced figure like Sarfaraz as his competition makes his job any harder.
"His presence in the team adds no extra pressure on me. Now I am the first-choice wicketkeeper but I never take pressure of that. I also don't take pressure because of anyone waiting in the wings. My job is to work hard and that is what I am doing," he said.
He described the situation as the one in the 1990s when the national team had two able glovemen in the form of Moin Khan and Rashif Latif but insisted that the rivalry is not about personal gains.
"There is a healthy competition between us just as it used to be between Rashid Latif and Moin Khan back in the day. But whoever is in form, both of us want that one to play," he said.
Rizwan's respect for Sarfaraz also does not mean that he would not do all he can on the field of play to keep hold of the spot.
"Everyone gets their turn, and now it is my turn to be the first-choice keeper," he said.