LAHORE: Kamran Akmal, hero of Peshawar Zalmi victory against Karachi Kings, has vowed to win the Pakistan Super League (PSL) title for Boom Boom Afridi, who couldn’t play the final due to hand injury. In an interview with The Nation, Kamran said: “Looking at the final, we will definitely miss inspirational and dominating figure of Afridi, who was in great form and performing with both willow and leather, while his fielding is still world class. We want to win the title for Boom Boom, because Lala was desperate to take Zalmi into the finals and play leading role in helping Zalmi win the title, but unfortunately, he is injured and can’t play, but his best wishes are with the team. We are highly motivated and looking forward to play for him.” About the team spirit, he said: “We are playing like a unit, therefore, we have been excelling. Off curse, the PSL final is a big occasion and Quetta also want to win it, as last year they lost against ultimate champions Islamabad United, but we are desperate to lift the trophy, as we worked very hard for it.” To a query, Kamran replied: “Both the teams have equal chances. Although most of our players have already played at Gaddafi, yet Gladiators are also playing on the same venue for the last several years. Yes, they have slight disadvantage of international players, who were playing for them throughout the PSL and later, decided against travelling to Lahore. It is a point of concern, but they have drafted good fresh international players, so they still have fair chances of doing well against us.” The wicketkeeper batsman said Zalmi players played well and their batting clicked at the right time. “I was though under enormous pressure and wanted to do well and provide a solid platform to score big runs, and by the grace of Almighty, I managed to do so.”
When asked why Zalmi failed to post a total well-beyond 200 runs, which looked a possibility, when he was striking the ball well, Kamran said: “It was due to magical spell by M Aamir and Usman Shinwari, who worked well and our players failed to hit lusty blows at the time of need, that’s the reason why we couldn’t reach well beyond 200.” Kamran said Gladiators had one of the best spin bowling attacks and they looked highly motivated as well. “But we will play out with hearts and won’t allow our opponents to dictate terms.” To a query regarding making a comeback to the national team, he said: “My duty is to perform like I had always said, it is up to the selectors and team management to decide, but I expect the PCB will take into account my consistent performances in the domestic circuit, while I hope to get picked for the national team.” When asked about whether he would play as specialist batsman and at any given number, he replied: “I am ready to play at any given number, but as all know, I had always performed while batting at the top, I expect to be considered at the top and then the results will be more than satisfactory.” About PSL and its long-term benefits, Kamran said: “Off course, we have witnessed exceptional performances from Shahdab Khan, M Asghar, Osama Mir, M Nawaz and a lot of other youngsters, who, with the passage of time, will soon start knocking at selectors’ doors.” “I consider Inzamam as the best skipper and he knows each and every player well. He will not tolerate any injustice while deserving players will get their due rights,” Kamran concluded.