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Playing in CPL will be proper preparation for upcoming matches including IPL: Mohammad Nabi

By: The Kabul Times

Nine wickets at an incredible economy of 4.8. Vital runs with the bat. Three Man of the Match awards in six matches. Mohammad Nabi is setting the Caribbean Premier League alight. The Afghanistan all-rounder’s latest performance – an terrific spell of 5 for 15 opening the bowling for St Lucia Zouks, restricted St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for just 110 and set up a comfortable win.

Nine wickets at an incredible economy of 4.8. Vital runs with the bat. Three Man of the Match awards in six matches. Mohammad Nabi is setting the Caribbean Premier League alight. The Afghanistan all-rounder’s latest performance – an terrific spell of 5 for 15 opening the bowling for St Lucia Zouks, restricted St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for just 110 and set up a comfortable win.

“There are not big star players, but we have quality good youngsters,” he told Cricketnext. “We have some senior players and experience as well, and we’ll share the experience with the youngsters and hopefully we’ll try our best and bring the team to the semifinals.

“As a senior player, I see my role as not just a player but we try our best to share our experiences with the youngsters during the game and also throughout the tournament. As a senior player, I have to perform for the team as well, both as a batsman and a bowler.”

Performing with bat and ball is exactly what he has been doing. The 35-year-old Nabi said he was just happy to be back to playing after an extended break due to COVID-19. The CPL, he said, will be the perfect preparation for upcoming matches including IPL.

“It’s been a long time since we played cricket,” he said. “In the last Four months we didn’t play any cricket. We just had training sessions at home, after one month (of staying at home) we went for training and had a few knocks, but it wasn’t a proper nets either.

“Now we’re in CPL and I’m really excited to be playing in CPL this time. We’ll try our best to play good cricket and enjoy our cricket. Playing for Zouks will really help in the upcoming matches (after the CPL). I’ve got the IPL for me after this, this will be a proper preparation for it.”

Nabi said the lockdown was a lesson that cricketers are ‘nothing’ without being able to play the sport. “It was a big lesson for everyone, not just for me. Because without cricket, we are nothing,” he said. “We just stay at home and we did nothing. I just did my charity work, luckily I got a lot of time for my charity. I did a lot for my country and poor people there. For cricketers, without cricket there is nothing in life. So it was a big lesson for everyone.”

Nabi, who was also recently inducted into the Afghan Cricket Board, said COVID-19 has disturbed opportunities for teams like Afghanistan. However, he hoped that the lack of cricket in 2020 would be compensated in 2021.

“Every team has been disturbed by COVID-19, especially Afghanistan has been disturbed a lot,” he explained. “Because we missed Asia Cup and a few series against Ireland apart from the (T20) World Cup, and we have to see what happens to the Test against Australia. But hopefully it means we have a lot of cricket next year as a national duty. We are focusing on that as well, we’ll try our best to perform when we get the opportunity and take Afghan cricket forward. We also have the ODI World Cup Super League so we expect a lot of matches from next year.”

Nabi was also happy with Afghanistan’s increased presence in T20 leagues around the world. There are six Afghanistan players in the ongoing CPL, with one of them – Mujeeb Ur Rahman – even leading the wickets list.

“It’s a great sign for Afghan players to play all over the world in T20 games. It means that Afghanistan has a lot of quality players especially in T20 cricket. There are six Afghan players in the CPL this year,” he said. “This is the most in terms of numbers for Afghanistan players in the CPL. I’m really happy as an Afghan player and hopefully more youngsters come to play other leagues as well.”

Finally, Nabi is also looking forward to playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, but there is one thing he’s not looking forward to – jumping from one bi-secure bubble to another.

“The bio bubble is very tough,” he said. “Of course, the situation from the last few months is such that we quarantined 14 days for the CPL. And from here into the IPL, we’ll still be quarantined there as well. It is tough, yeah but hopefully we remain safe.”

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