Omani medium pacer Sufyan Mehmood was thrilled about his experience of playing along with top international cricket stars at the World Stars vs Qatar Stars T20 exhibition match on the occasion of Qatar National Day.
Oman Observer caught up with the Oman national team player from Doha. Excerpts of the chat:
Q: Explain your experience of playing with the top cricketers?
Well, it was a very nice experience playing with some of the greats of the game. Players such as Afridi, Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammed Ashraful, Balaji, Waseem Jaffer and Herchelle Gibbs are the ones I used to follow very closely in my childhood! It was honestly an honour to play alongside with them and never imagined to share the dressing room with them one day.
Q: What difference did you feel from the cricket in Oman?
The standard in Oman is not much different but of course those people are from Test playing nations so they were more experienced and they are high in their fitness levels too.
Q: Any tips you received or some tricks you learned at the level?
I did speak to all the stars but mostly Afridi, Ajmal, Graham Onions and Ashraful. The only similar advise they gave was to play to your strength remembering that you got to keep the basics right. And they also told cricket is a game where you will get bad days just like in life you have good days and days when you fall sick, but you got to make sure that you keep working harder and harder and don’t give up! It really was a learning experience sharing the dressing room with these stars.
Q: What was the result of the match and your onfield experience.
We won the match by three runs. The onfield experience was amazing of course because I was in the field with the top stars of the game!
Q: Best moment for you at the match?
My favourite moment was when I took a good catch at Ajmal’s bowling at short midwicket. Afridi, Ajmal and Razzaq came running to me and praised my catch saying it was a brilliant catch. It was a good experience overall. Didn’t get to bowl though as there were three international fast bowlers such as Sohail Tanveer, Graham Onions and Abdur Razzaq.
Lastly, I am thankful to Oman Cricket for their support which they have given always and the International Cricketers Association for inviting me for the event.