Islamabad United’s Zafar Gohar is not thinking too far ahead and prefers to stay in the present, despite talks of a call-up to the Pakistan squad for the T20 World Cup.

Playing his first match in this edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL), the left-arm spinner took three for 31 to help Islamabad United script a 71-run win over the Lahore Qalandars at the Gaddafi Stadium.

The 25-year-old has had a standout season where he was named the Player of the Tournament in Pakistan’s domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Gohar, who hails from Lahore, took 38 wickets in Central Punjab’s winning campaign. He also had the best bowling figures in a match when he returned with a haul of 11 for 133 against Northern, last November. Gohar took four for 54 in the first innings and then followed that up in the second with brilliant figures of seven for 79 in 28 overs.

Pakistan coach and selector former captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who is also the coach of Islamabad United has said that performances in the PSL will add heft when it comes to the squad being named for the World T20. This year’s T20 World Cup will be held in Australia in October and November.

Gohar, who has played a lone ODI against Englan in Sharjah, where he took two for 54, has put himself in the frame but the bowler himself is not getting carried away.

“Whichever tournament that I play, I try my best to help my team with my performance,” Gohar said after the match against the Qalandars.

“I was the Player of the Tournament in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and we won the final. So, when the team wins, it is a great feeling. I’ve been with Islamabad United for the last three years. And whenever I get the opportunity to play, I manage to put in a good performance,” he added.

Gohar has struck a strong partnership with leg spinner Shadab Khan, also his captain at the franchise. And Gohar said it has been a wonderful experience bowling in tandem with Shadab. Shadab took two for 21 against the Qalandars.

“Shadab and me keep talking to each other and we speak about the match situation, how the pitch is behaving and how do we bowl. He helps me a lot. He’s a very experienced bowler and he has played a lot more cricket than me. Our combination is working out well,” felt Gohar.

Gohar is also thankful to the franchise for backing him through tough times.

“When I returned from injury three years ago, Islamabad, as a franchise, helped me a lot. There is a strong bond between the players and whoever plays, we are like a family. We win as a team, lose as a team,” said Gohar.


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