BIRMINGHAM: Pakistani batter Haider Ali has responded to criticism of his golden duck dismissal in the first match at the UK’s ongoing Vitality T20 Blast, saying that he was satisfied with his performance.
The 22-year-old cricketer, who is playing county cricket for the first time and representing Derbyshire Falcons in the tournament, expressed hope that he will perform better in the ongoing season.
Both Haider and Falcons did not have a great first outing in Vitality Blast, as the swashbuckling opener was out on the very first ball of the tournament and his side lost the match by four wickets against Lancashire Lightning.
“It’s my first ever county season with Derbyshire, the coaching staff and fellow players are fully supporting me. It’s not possible to score a century or a fifty every time you go out in the field to bat. This is part of the game but what I can do is to make a full effort to perform. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season,” Haider told Geo News after the opening game.
This was only Haider’s second T20 game on English soil. He made his T20I debut for Pakistan in England back in 2020 at Old Trafford, Manchester scoring a 50 in his first international match for the national team.
“I’m very excited to play in T20 Blast as these games are very competitive and some very experienced and exciting players are participating in it. Also, these matches are broadcast live on TV so really want to show my performance in the tournament,” said the batter.
In the Pakistan Super League, Haider has played for Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings.
“Good thing is that there’s time to learn from our mistakes as we are set to play fourteen group matches before the knockout stage so I’m hoping for better performances in coming games. Fans do have high expectations from us but we have to play according to the team’s requirements. We try our best to give what is good for the team,” said Haider.
The batter, so far, has played some decent knocks in the county championship which also include two fifty-plus scores. He said that he is satisfied with his performance in the first-class games and the club management has fully facilitated him with all the requirements to excel in his game.
“Batting consultant Ian Bell and coach Mickey Arthur are working hard with me and all the players. We’ve been given extensive practice sessions by them and they are always backing us up. If we don’t perform well in a match they will urge us to keep our chins up and do better in the next game,” said the batter.
Haider said that he’s touched bases with the other Pakistani cricketers currently playing in the county circuit as all of them are good friends.
“So far, I got a chance to meet Shan Masood, who’s leading Yorkshire, and Hasan Ali, who’s with Birmingham Bears. They all have expressed encouragement and shown me their full support,” said the batter.