Left-handed batter Shan Masood, who was called up to Pakistan’s T20I squad for the first time for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, has said that playing County in England was a very big stepping stone in terms of his selection for the mega event in Australia.
The 32-year-old, who edged Fakhar Zaman to the T20 World Cup squad, could make his debut soon with Pakistan set to take on England in a seven-match T20I series starting September 20.
“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). The Pakistan Super League (PSL) was a big step up, performing at that level obviously gives you a lot of confidence,” Masood was quoted as saying by ICC.
“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, is one experience I will always regard when it comes to my development as a player,” he added.
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 possesses 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,” he added.
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,” said Masood.
“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,” he added.