‘Team first’, Riaz says on repeating 2015 performance against Watson

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Updated 23 February 2020

‘Team first’, Riaz says on repeating 2015 performance against Watson

  • Peshawar Zalmi’s left-arm pacer hopes to play in front of home crowd in Peshawar next year
  • Credits stronger batting streak to decision to include Shoaib Malik in the team

KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi’s left-arm fast bowler, Wahab Riaz, vouched to recast the spell which left former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson clueless in the 2015 World Cup quarter final, adding that his priority would be to play “for the team first.”
“I have set some bars for my performances because people want me to do the same thing as I had done in 2015. Obviously, I want to clear that. I want to do it again. My priority would be to perform for the team,” Riaz told Arab News earlier this week.
Riaz bowled one of the most ferocious overs in World Cup history helping Pakistan beat Australia in Adelaide on March 19.
Watson, who is representing Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions, the Quetta Gladiators, this year was up against the Zalmis for their second match at the National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday.
The Zalmis almost chased the Karachi Kings’ impressive target of 202 runs on Friday, with Riaz saying that the batting line had become strong after the inclusion of senior batsman, Shoaib Malik.
“I think the limitations were in the last four seasons, because our middle order was not that strong. But after having Shoaib Malik in the team, and the way he has been performing all around the world, I think it’s amazing to have him in the team,” Riaz said, adding that the team had a great combination of players this year.
“It’s amazing that we are getting bowlers who can bowl 140 plus, and Amir is a very sensational bowler. He has got that quality. I think we need to groom these players...and obviously, he is a player who can represent Pakistan in the coming future,” he said in reference to one of the emerging fast bowlers from his team.
Riaz has been a part of Peshawar Zalmi since its inception in 2015 and credits the team’s goodwill to the manner in which the management “takes care of the players.”
“I think the kind of atmosphere we had in Peshawar, it’s amazing ...and especially the way they take care of the players, and the confidence they give to the players. I think it’s not all about money, but it’s all about how the franchise looks after you. So I think that’s the best thing I have seen in Peshawar,” he said.
Wahab welcomed the return of international cricket to Pakistan, which he said gave young players the platform to deal with the pressure, especially in front of a huge crowd, adding in the same breath that he missed playing in front of his home crowd in Peshawar.
“They would love to see their team playing in front of their home crowd. But unfortunately, the grounds are not ready yet. Hopefully by next year, the ground will be ready,” he said.


Chinese doctors, coronavirus relief supplies arrive in Pakistan

Updated 28 March 2020

Chinese doctors, coronavirus relief supplies arrive in Pakistan

  • FM Qureshi received the medical team at Islamabad airport
  • Chinese government and private donations for coronavirus relief includes test kits, PPE, face masks and funding support for an isolation hospital

ISLAMABAD: A special plane from China carrying an eight member medical team and relief assistance for Pakistan’s fight against the coronavirus touched down in Islamabad on Saturday, according to state-owned Radio Pakistan.
The novel coronavirus first broke out in China’s Hubei province late last year, and was declared a global pandemic by the WHO in January 2020. To date, it has claimed about 28,000 deaths around the world with surging rates of infection.
Through stringent containment measures, China was able to stem virus cases on its soil, and this week, the original epicenter of the deadly outbreak, Wuhan City, relaxed lockdown measures for the first time in months. Pakistan’s current cases of the infection stand at roughly 1,400 with 11 people dead and the numbers rising every day. Partial lockdowns have been imposed in some provinces.
China’s state assistance to its western neighbor so far includes 12,000 test kits, 300,000 face masks, 10,000 protective suits for health care workers on the disease front-lines, as well as funding support to build an isolation hospital, according to the foreign office.
The medical team from China are experts in dealing with the coronavirus and will remain in Pakistan for two weeks, the foreign office said. FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi personally received the Chinese medial experts at Islamabad airport.
“We are grateful, this is a unique relationship. And such times tell us how close we are to each other,” Qureshi said at the event.
Additionally, Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Foundation and the Ali Baba foundation have donated 50,000 test kits and 500,000 face masks to Pakistan, the foreign office said.
Through the Khunjerab Pass earlier this week, China also provided over two tons of masks, test kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment. Pakistan has also been the recipient of considerable private donations from China.
Earlier this month, President Arif Alvi and a contingent of high level officials including FM Qureshi visited Beijing to express solidarity with China in its fight against the virus.