Saturday, 22 July 2017

Chris Jordan amazed by passion for cricket in Pakistan

LONDON: Peshawar Zalmi fast bowler and England star Chris Jordan termed his experience playing for Pakistan as brilliant, adding that he was glad to be in Lahore for Pakistan Super League final, which was won by his team on Sunday. “It was pretty surreal! Obviously from making the decision to go, we were well briefed and everything was well documented about how everything was going to run from the time we left on the plane from Dubai to the time we got back.” said Jordan in an interview. Talking about the security arrangements for the final he said: “As soon as we landed in Lahore, we were met by military guys, escorted straight onto a bus and had a 10-minute drive to the hotel with a full escort. The road was cordoned off and no-one was on the streets – it was a bit unreal!” he added. Reflecting on the trip from Hong Kong, Jordan was pleased he made the decision to travel to the final. “I was glad I was able to be there and experience it. I’ll be able to say I played cricket in Pakistan and won the trophy. It was a brilliant experience.” said Zalmi fast bowler. “The reception we got said it all. They cheered every single ball for both teams, from ball one to the last. Their passion for cricket was immense. You’re on the boundary and you have people chanting your name! It was immense and I had no idea that the passion for cricket was so great in Pakistan. The crowd in Lahore was brilliant – they really made the final.” Winning the Pakistan Super League Final required a team performance and the Sussex man was keen to praise the leadership of the Peshawar Zalmi squad and the unity within the group.

“Throughout the whole tournament we’ve really been gelling as a group and our owner Javed Afridi and the captain Darren Sammy – everyone was singing from the same Chris Jordan Lahorehymn sheet and created a very good atmosphere in the dressing room to go out and perform.” “It didn’t matter who was playing at any time in the tournament because I didn’t play all the games, but it was a real team effort and I really felt part of something special.” Jordan spoke favourably about the quality of cricket on show in the tournament, and the players online: “In terms of the standard, I think it was very high.  Every single team had some high-quality overseas players and also the local talent was very, very good. It’s good they had a rule that each team had to play one emerging player, so you have a youngster coming through all the time.” said Jordan. “If you check all the overseas players you had the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Kevin Pietersen, Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, the list goes on. The competition was very high. There were a lot of last over and last ball finishes.” “There were some very exciting games and that’s what made it so competitive and a great spectacle. In comparison to all the other leagues, it was right up there in terms of putting yourself in pressure situations and having to deliver for your team.”

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