KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Shan Masood believes playing for English county Derbyshire in the Blast has played a role in his maiden callup to the Pakistan Twenty20 team.
Left-hander Masood scored 547 runs in 14 Blast games this season at an impressive strike rate of 139.89. He had five half-centuries and finished fifth in the run-getters’ list which was topped by Englishman James Vince with 678.
“It was a very big steppingstone in terms of me making it to the T20 side over there,” Masood said on Saturday. He's preparing for the seven-match T20 series against England starting on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Masood has represented Pakistan in 25 test matches and five one-day internationals, but couldn’t break into the T20 side despite playing in the Pakistan Super League for five seasons.
Masood, who has been opening the innings in test matches, pushed himself to the No. 3 and 4 positions in T20 leagues and also in the recent National T20 Cup, which finally got the attention of the national selectors.
“Learning never stops,” he said. “The game is always evolving and you have to evolve as well, so my next step is to meet the demands of international cricket and hopefully make a good career out of it.”
Masood was summoned to the T20 team when a knee injury forced No. 3 batter Fakhar Zaman to miss not only the home series against England but also the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
Masood also credited Derbyshire coach Mickey Arthur — also a former Pakistan coach — for boosting his confidence in white-ball cricket.
“I give lot of credit for the time that they invested on me over there and playing against players that have played for England,” he said. “It’s one experience that I will always regard when it comes to my development as a player.”
Masood has played alongside England players such as Moeen Ali, Alex Hales and David Willey in Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League, and believed competing against them this month will help Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.
“England is one of the best white-ball sides in the world,” Masood said. “It’s probably the ideal preparation before the T20 World Cup.”
More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports