LAHORE: Misbah-ul-Haq, the captain of the two-time Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Islamabad United, has expressed great pride at Asif Ali’s selection in the national squad for the T20 home series against West Indies.
The former Pakistan captain, speaking to reporters at a sports event earlier today, said the national team has long needed power-hitters and that he is confident Asif Ali, who sealed Islamabad United’s title victory with three sixes against Peshawar Zalmi on Sunday, is the right man for the job.
“I’ve always said that the Pakistan team needs a [power-hitting] batsman like Asif Ali, who can come in during the middle overs and hit with a strike rate of 160, 170. That momentum has been missing [from the national team]. He has a good temperament and will hopefully contribute [his best] to the Pakistan team as well.”
Misbah credited his team’s success to the hard work of the players and the management.
“Credit to the players, to the entire team. From the selection to execution, we did our homework. We had a very strong bench, with backups for every position [in case of any injury etc.] All this benefitted us,” said the skipper, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury in the first few games and a wrist fracture in the knockout matches.
The 43-year old resolved to prepare more players for the national side in the fourth edition of PSL next year. He further said that all those who performed exceptionally in PSL should be given a chance in the Pakistan team.
“Otherwise, players will get disappointed and [demoralised]. But selectors have their own vision and plan, so [I can’t say much],” he added.
26-year old Asif Ali, along with fellow Islamabad United all-rounder Hussain Talat and Lahore Qalandars’ pace sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi, has been named in the Pakistan T20 squad which will play West Indies in Karachi on April 1, 2 and 3.