Wednesday Oct 21, 2020
England all-rounder Samit Patel has revealed that he plans to not only go back to Pakistan to participate in the unfinished Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 next month but is also confident of lifting the trophy with the Lahore Qalandars.
In an exclusive interview with Geo Super, the 35-year-old said that while unprecedented circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had brought the PSL 2020 to a grinding halt, it would have no bearing on his side's chances to win the tournament.
“It was a little bit frustrating that we didn't finish off but I'm very excited to come back and play the remaining matches. We have to get back into the rhythm of batting and hopefully we can do some good performances. I know we can lift the trophy," he said.
Patel said that Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez doing well ahead of PSL restart was good omen for the Qalandars.
He tipped Hafeez to play a crucial role in the batting department. "Hafeez has a lot of experience. He knows what to do and he's quite crucial to our team. So we'll try and anchor the batting around him. If he does stay and does the job right then we should get a good score," the Briton said.
Patel also praised the Qalandars’ player development program that has produced notable cricketers such as Haris Rauf and Dilber Hussain, adding that Aqib Javed and his team deserve credit for unearthing new talent for Pakistan.
Meanwhile, he deemed reports of a possible tour of the England team to Pakistan an "encouraging sign", adding that he has shared with many compatriots his positive experience in Pakistan.
“We've had some conversations. I spoke to some of the boys about how it was safe. I've said, 'yeah, absolutely'. My experience is great. I think we get looked after really well. This is the third time for me go back to Pakistan. It is definitely great for England to visit Pakistan. I think the signs are encouraging," he said.
Having scored 137 runs to go with his nine wickets, Patel was among the notable performers for the Qalandars, who vacated the bottom of the table for the first time ever and now have a genuine shot at the title.
The Qalandars are scheduled to play an eliminator against Peshawar Zalmi on November 14 in Lahore.
In the event of a win, the Qalandars will play the loser of the qualifier between Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans on November 15 while the final will be staged on November 17.