KARACHI: Indian players may not be part of Twenty20 leagues around the world, but there are a lucky few who are of the Indian origin and playing in the HBL Pakistan Super League.
Samit Rohit Patel is one of them.
Patel, though born in Leicester, has roots in India and takes pride in being part of HBL PSL. The 34-year-old has been representing two-time champions Islamabad United on a regular basis.
Patel says he enjoys HBL PSL, more so being an Indian-Englishman.
“As an Indian visiting Pakistan has been great,” said Patel. “The experience of playing in Karachi was amazing and you can just see the love for cricket in Pakistan.
“I had heard lots of amazing things about Pakistan, especially Lahore, which I have not been to as yet. People are very hospitable and caring. Having an Indian background and coming here, has definitely changed my mindset.”
Patel, who played six Tests, 36 ODIs and 18 T20Is, places HBL PSL among the top leagues in the world.
“I place the PSL very highly, especially the standard of bowling is very good in one of the best competitions in the world,” said Patel, who last played for England in 2015. Since then, he is a regular at England county circuit.
Leagues, like HBL PSL, keep him going.
“The leagues have kept me going because I love cricket and also meeting so many great players,” said Patel, who loves the Islamabad United camp.
“Islamabad United have been great to me, like a family and are one of the best franchises in the world. We all play cricket to win and playing for a franchise that loves to win is the ultimate. I love being part of Islamabad United.”
Patel was one of the stars of Islamabad’s win over Peshawar Zalmi in the final in Karachi last year, taking two wickets and scoring 10 crucial runs.
This year, Islamabad qualified for the play-offs with a convincing 49-run win over Lahore Qalandars in Karachi on Saturday.