Central Punjab's Faheem Ashraf relieved to be back among the runs

Faizan Lakhani

All-rounder Faheem Ashraf has admitted that he was much relieved after performing with both bat and ball in his comeback match in National T20 Cup in Rawalpindi.

Ashraf scored an unbeaten 52 and took four wickets to help his side Central Punjab hand Northern their first defeat in the tournament.

It was Ashraf’s first T20 since the Pakistan Super League 2020. Since then, he had appeared in only two games - both warm-ups during Pakistan’s tour to England. Since then, form and injury issues had kept him out of action.

He also missed the first part of the National T20 Cup due to fitness issues but made a comeback on Friday to mark his comeback in stylish all-rounder performance.

Talking after the match, Ashraf admitted that he was struggling with the bat and that it was good to be back scoring some runs.

“I know I was struggling with my batting and it was a concern. I worked with Shahid Aslam during the England tour and also at the NCA for my rehabilitation, Mohammad Yousuf also helped me a lot by giving me some useful guidance,” Ashraf said in the post-match interview.

“Bowling was also good, when you’re playing after a long time and bowling well then each wicket makes you feel special,” he said while adding that Zeeshan Malik’s wicket during the match against Northern was an important one for his side.

Talking about the match between Central Punjab and Northern and his partnership with Babar Azam, Ashraf said that Pakistan’s white-ball captain motivated him to play with a free mind.

“It was a good partnership with Babar, he told me to express myself and that allowed us to score 105 runs for the unbeaten partnership that helped our team win the match,” Ashraf concluded.

Central Punjab's Faheem Ashraf relieved to be back among the runs