The Sunday Mail
Sikandar Raza BUTT has been in red-hot form and the world seems to have taken notice.
He was player of the ICC World Cup qualifier in March and was a star performer for Zimbabwe last year. This year alone, he has an average of 41.30 from 15 innings with the bat and picked 19 wickets in 13 innings with an economy of 4.74.
The 32-year-old all-rounder was picked by the Montreal Tigers in the inaugural Global T20 Canada last week.
The Sunday Mail’s Brighton Zhawi (BZ) had a chat with Raza who is also expected to be part of the Zimbabwe national team for a T20 tri-series featuring Australia and Pakistan at the same time as the Global T20 Canada.
Is Raza in a dilemma?
BZ: I see you will be a Montreal Tiger!
BZ: Congratulations, hey.
BZ: Your latest success is worthy celebrating.
Raza: It’s worthy of bowing more down to Allah.
BZ: So tell me what you were doing when you received the news that you had been bought in the Global T20 Canada. How did you receive the big news?
Raza: ( I was) Following the draft online. I received a message from a friend from Canada saying I’ve been picked before they updated it on social media.
BZ: What was your first reaction after the confirmation?
Raza: Humbled and blessed
BZ: When you look at your Montreal Tigers team-mates . . . what feelings and thoughts come into your mind? Also being coached by Tom Moody?
Raza: Certainly, really excited to work with a class coach like Tom.
He goes everywhere and has won everywhere and I think I need him to ignite that part again in my career. Having (Sunil) Narine with me is great as it would help with my spin and Thisara (Perera) can guide me to finish games better.
(Lasith) Malinga is also there, so really excited and looking forward to it.
BZ: The global Canada T20 will also get attention because of the return to action of Steve Smith and David Warner since their bans over the ball-tampering scandal . . . as a fellow international player does this have any significance to you?
Raza: Not really apart from the fact that it will add to the quality of the tournament.
BZ: The Global T20 is from June 28- July 15 and the Zimbabwe tri- series July 1-8. Raza can’t be in two places at once. How will you balance the two?
Raza: Let’s wait and see
BZ: Why the delay in decision?
Raza: None of your business
BZ: Coming to your stint in the UK. How has it been so far? Which team are you playing for and what league?
Raza: 105, 74 and 32 have been my three scores.
Two wickets and 5 wickets and 2 wickets have been my bowling performances. (I am playing for) Shelley cricket club (in the) Premier league in Huddersfield.
BZ: Craig Ervine said he went for eight weeks without holding a cricket bat after the World Cup heart-break. How did you deal with the aftermath?
Raza: I was fortunate enough to be part of DPL (Dhaka Premier League) but I couldn’t sleep for months thinking and dreaming about how we could have won that game with open eyes.
Are you sleeping well now?
Raza: It’s better now