x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

UAE players make mark in the nets

Asim Khurshid, the UAE strike bowler, in particular, provides a stern challenge for Pakistan's preparing batsmen.

ABU DHABI // If South Africa's bowlers need any advice on pinpointing the weaknesses of the Pakistan batsman ahead of today's Twenty20 (T20) match, they should ask Asim Khurshid, the UAE strike bowler.

The 29-year-old was one of 20 bowlers provided by Abu Dhabi club cricketers for the Pakistan and South Africa teams with batting practice last night.

Khurshid, who has played for the UAE in T20 internationals against England A and Pakistan A, posed the most problems for the Pakistanis, knocking over the stumps of Abdul Razzaq, Fawad Alam and Umar Gul and troubling Shahid Afridi.

"He [Afridi] told me I was a difficult bowler to face," Khurshid said.

"I took that as a compliment from one of the most destructive batsman in the world.

"Obviously it was a really good feeling to get an opportunity to bowl at some of the international cricketers and to listen to their feedback.

"For cricketers like us, it is a challenge to take a wicket or two of some famous names, even if it is at the nets. I can talk about it and enjoy the time I had with them at the nets."

For Mohammed Shafiq, the practice reunited him with some of the Pakistan players with whom he had played first-class cricket before arriving in Abu Dhabi to work.

"I volunteered because it gave me an opportunity to meet up with them after a long time," Shafiq said.

A wicketkeeper-batsman who also bowls off-spin for William Hare Abu Dhabi Gymkhana, Shafiq bowled at Younus Khan and Mohammed Hafeez in the nets yesterday.

"Bowling to them at the nets brought me memories of my playing days for Multan," Shafiq said.

"I felt like part of the team. It was also great feeling to mingle around them, to talk of the past and take a few photos."