Faheem hopes to represent Pakistan in all three formats

LAHORE (APP): Pakistan’s All-rounder Faheem Ashraf has expressed his desire to cement a permanent spot in all three formats after being selected in the 16-member Test squad for England/Ireland tour next month.

The 24-year-old, already represented Pakistan in eight ODIs and 10 T20Is, where he has scored 126 runs and claimed 18 wickets collectively, revealed his excitement after being picked to represent the Men in Green in the longest format of the game. “It’s the dream of every cricketer to play for your country at the Test level, which is the ultimate challenge,” said Ashraf while talking to media at Gaddafi Stadium here on Friday. “I am extremely happy to be selected in the Test squad.”

The joint-top wicket-taker in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League added that he understands the requirements of playing in all three formats and is working hard to be fit for them. “The goal is to cement my place permanently in all three formats of the game through consistent performances. I believe, to survive in all three formats, you need physical fitness and consistent form and I know that is the secret to success, which is why I am training hard,” he said.

Ashraf added that he has played four-day cricket so it won’t be a meteoric task for him to adjust to the five-day format. “I’ve played four-day cricket before, so I don’t think it will be hard to adjust to the longest format of the game,” he explained. Conditions in England are considered to favour the bowlers with early summer offering seam and swing to the pacers and Ashraf revealed that they have been training keeping the conditions in mind.

“The ground staff prepared pitches for us which gave us a feel of the conditions as close as possible to what we will have in England,” he said. The all-rounder added that tour and practice matches will also be helpful in adjusting to the conditions. “We will have also have practice matches, which will help us to acclimatise with the English conditions,” he said.