Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Legendary Pakistan left-arm seamer Wasim Akram believes big-hitting batsman Sharjeel Khan is a “natural opener”.
Sharjeel is known for his attacking style of play and there have been talks about him returning to the national team in limited overs cricket.
In fact, the 33-year-old was among the players selected in the probable list for the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, but he ultimately didn’t make the cut.
Sharjeel last played international cricket in August 2021, but was in red-hot form during the recent domestic season.
He finished as the fourth-highest run-scorer in the National T20 Cup, where he scored 328 runs in 12 matches for Sindh, which included a century and a fifty, at an average of 29.81 and a strike-rate of 138.39.
As for the Pakistan Cup, which is the country’s domestic 50-over competition, he amassed 394 runs in 10 games, which included a top score of 114, at an average of 39.40 and a strike-rate of 121.60.
Fully aware of the firepower Sharjeel possesses, Wasim wanted him to open the batting for the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), but Pakistan captain Babar Azam refused to demote himself to number three after the Sultan of Swing asked him to do so.
“We had to send Sharjeel Khan at number 3 and he is a natural opener,” he said on The Pavilion on A Sports as quoted by Cricwick.
Azam won’t play for the Kings in PSL 8 this year as he was traded to the Peshawar Zalmi for Pakistan power-hitter Haider Ali and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik.
PSL 8 is scheduled to be held from February 13 to March 19, with matches expected to be played in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi and Quetta.