RAWALPINDI: Out-of-favour Muhammad Irfan has claimed that he is fully fit and ready to resolve Pakistan team bowling woes if provided with opportunity.
In an interview, Irfan said: “I was never dropped from the team on the basis of performances, instead it was my fitness issues due to which I am out of national squad. But thanks to Almighty, I am recovered now and fully fit to deliver for the national team. My performances in the domestic circuit and international leagues are good enough to prove my claims.”
The pacer said that he has showed that he has drastically improved his fitness level as well as fielding. “There is no doubt that experience is key to success and no matter how fit you are, if you don’t have skills and ability to produce wonders for the team, your super fitness is good for nothing.”
“I have been playing cricket for last several years and whenever I was given opportunity, I not only pressurized the opponents through my sharp bowling but also took wickets at the time of need. I think the current coach has adopted the policy of providing opportunities to youngsters, but he should also keep in mind that there is no comparison and replacement of senior players.
“Look what Shoaib Malik has been doing single-handedly for the team during the Asia Cup. If a veteran like him in the team haven’t included in the national team, it could hardly manage to post decent scores. The selectors and team management must understand the importance of balanced team, which should be blend of experience and youth,” he added.
Irfan said that seasoned campaigners are the backbone of any team and in the current situation in UAE, the selectors and entire nation are badly missing the services of experienced players. “My job is to perform at the highest level and leave the rest on the selectors. I have pinned great hopes on newly-elected Prime Minister Imran Khan and PCB chairman Ehsan Mani that they will provide justice to not only me but other deserving senior players like me.”
About Pakistan team in Asia Cup, the pacer said: “The way Pakistan team has been playing these days in Asia Cup, it is clear that it is under immense pressure and unable to handle it, that’s why they are being defeated time and again by the same Indian team. India is not even half, what we used to play against while in the absence of Virat Kohli, they are weaker and the way Afghanistan almost pulled off victory against them is a clear indication that there is a problem with Pakistan team in all the departments.”
He said that the World Cup is just round the corner, so instead of continuing with experiments, the time is high when the PCB chairman, chief selector, coach and captain must sit and chalk out strategy for the future of Pakistan cricket.
“The young blood should be included in the squad but at the same time, half of the team must have experienced players, whose presence will not only strengthen the team but also help the youngsters get benefit from their experience and improve their game under their guidance. They must share dressing rooms and travel with the team, but not given chances too early, as it can destroy their future,” he added.
The pacer once again claimed that if he is given chance, he will not disappoint the selectors and the entire nation. “I am fully fit and available for selection. I promise I won’t let down the team and nation.