Pakistan star Shan Masood reacts to T20 World Cup selection
Masood was called up to Pakistan's T20I squad for the first time for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia next month, but the southpaw could be making his debut sooner with Pakistan set to take on England in a seven-match T20I series starting September 20.
Masood, who edged Fakhar Zaman to the squad, spoke about his surprise call-up and what he felt might have contributed to it.
"I'd like to think it (playing County in England) was a very big stepping stone in terms of me making into the T20I side (for the T20 World Cup)," Masood said. "The Pakistan Super League was a big step up, performing at that level obviously gives you a lot of confidence.
"Having played the T20 Blast over there and getting some runs there. I think that was important to just put my name out there. What was brilliant was that I got to play a lot of cricket in the County. I figured myself out as a person, as a batter.
"I owe a lot to Mickey Arthur and Derbyshire for the time they invested in me. And just being around all grounds, playing against players that are around in the England setup, it is one experience I will always regard when it comes to my development as a player."
Masood hailed England's white-ball team, calling it one of the best in the world and felt that the upcoming series would be ideal preparation for Pakistan ahead of the T20 World Cup.
"I think England is one of the best white-ball sides in the world. Having played County cricket over there this season, having looked at the standard of cricket, we're not surprised at all with what England possess as a team," he said.
"It's probably the ideal preparation to play one of the best sides in the world before the T20 World Cup. We're very glad we're playing a side like England."
The left-hander had a phenomenal run in the T20 Blast in England, making 547 runs at an average of 45.58 and a strike-rate of nearly 140. He underlined the role of coach Mickey Arthur and his conversations with him that helped his development.
"Mickey (Arthur) is a very successful coach. We kept talking about my game. We tried to take it to the next level and I think learning that was tops," he said.
"I've got to some place now compared to five years ago. I mean, I'm happy with that but as a player, the game is always evolving, and you have to evolve as well. I think my next step is to meet the demands of international T20 cricket and hope I make a good career out of it."
THIS IS THE BIG TIME!
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is coming to Australia from 16 October to 13 November 2022.