All-rounder Sikandar Raza is set to make a debut appearance in the Caribbean Premier League after he was picked by the Trinbago Knight Riders in a recent draft. Speaking to Brighton Zhawi In The Oval, Raza says he will “give it his all” for the Knights Riders.
BZ: You have been to several T20 leagues now there is CPL on your list. How does that make you feel?
SR: Humbled and excited at the same time.
BZ: Someone close to you said this success is coming your way because you work hard to the extent of “wanting to bowl at least two overs even when fasting”.
SR: (laughs) I don’t know what to say . . . I try and do things because it’s my duty and I love this sport and want to make sure that I do more and more, and yes, that could be true.
BZ: When such drafts happen it’s always interesting to know how one got the news, what were you doing at that moment. What’s your story like?
SR: I received a message from the officials from TKR on my phone just before the draft and told me about their intentions. Ali Khan, from USA, is my team mate and Rayad Emrit messaged me to say congrats.
BZ: And your TKR mates … what a list of super stars. Must be exciting times ahead?
SR: Learning times ahead and that’s what am excited about.
BZ: I understand you have shared the changing room with Dwayne Bravo before. How is your relationship like with him?
SR: DJ and I have had short but good chats a couple of times before. We have met at the Global T20, Bangladesh Premier League and T10.
BZ: Your all-round skills have improved over the years, you were player of the tournament during the World Cup qualifier and you continue improving. Was there an attitude shift or it is just maturity which comes with experience?
SR: It was I guess both plus more. I worked even harder and smarter, thought about the game more and tried to understand my game better. And yes experience played a huge part.
BZ: So besides training sessions during fasting, what other methods have you employed in becoming a better all-rounder?
SR: It is an extremely simple formula, more balls to hit as batter and more balls to bowl at training. The more sacrifices I made and gave cricket more time, it rewarded me more.
BZ: You are the first Zimbabwean player to get picked in the CPL, but Langton Rusere has officiated for three editions. What advice would you seek from him about the whole CPL experience?
SR: I spoke to him about the wickets and stuff and he was extremely happy and encouraging and shared some useful knowledge.
BZ: Maybe TKR fans would be keen to know what sort of Sikandar Raza will don their kit. What can you assure or promise them?
SR: (I will) give my all.
BZ: You have played in several T20 leagues, but what do you think makes the CPL unique?
SR: Every league is unique and comes with its own challenges and CPL will be no different.
BZ: There are new playing or practicing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. How has been the adjusting part over the last weeks?
SR: Tough and different but we will get use to it.
BZ: In what ways has the England-West Indies Test helped in understanding the new norm?
SR: Well, I am glad cricket has resumed and hopefully it will resume in all parts of the world soon.