Nawaz targets the extraordinary


Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz has enjoyed a meteoric rise from obscurity to international match winner and the tweaker says he wants to put in extraordinary performances.

Nawaz could make his Test debut in the upcoming series against the West Indies which he describes as the icing on the cake in what has been a great year.

On his rise to fame Nawaz told “It’s been an amazing and incredible time for me especially since the Pakistan Super League tournament. I’m delighted with how it’s gone and very pleased with my overall performances so far for Pakistan.

“The icing on the cake was to be called up to the Pakistan Test squad. When I think about it all, it’s just an amazing turnaround for me.”

The left-arm spinner doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself though, conceding that for him this is just the beginning.

Nawaz added: “The most important thing for me is to continue to work hard on my game and keep my focus. What’s happened over the last few months has been unbelievable but this is just the beginning.

“I need to maintain my focus and have a clear vision of what I want to achieve and to ensure that my performances are of a high standard.”

The 22-year-old wasn’t always a spinner having started his career as a seamer but he switched to spin at age group level after finding some success.

The man from Rawalpindi added: “During my days playing Under 15 cricket I was a pace-bowling all-rounder.

“We went to on a tour of the West Indies and in the first match I bowled pace but then after that in the next match I bowled spin, taking a couple of wickets and only giving away just over 30 runs; it all started from there really.

“I spoke with my coaches about this and they agreed that I should continue bowling spin going forward.”

Nawaz rose to prominence after great performances in the Pakistan Super League and despite having performed well in domestic cricket before then he credits the tournament with bringing him into the selector’s thinking.

The allrounder went on: “Before the Pakistan Super League my performances were pretty good. I was performing with both the bat and ball but you could say the turning point was the PSL which was a tournament that was being followed around the world and it was a very high profile tournament.

“I believe that my performances at the PSL brought me to the attention of the national selectors and then onto the Pakistan team. I gained a lot of popularity during and after the PSL as my performances were good in that tournament and were seen and appreciated around the world.”

The southpaw believes there is no greater honour than playing for your country and wants to repay the faith shown in him by putting in phenomenal performances.

Nawaz said: “There is nothing like playing for your country. If you don’t want to do the best for your country then there is no point being in the Pakistan shirt.

“It’s the dream of millions to play cricket for Pakistan and I don’t want to waste this opportunity that I have been presented with. Millions around the world are watching you and I want to put in extraordinary performances every time I play for Pakistan.”