Pakistani stars eager to play their first Test in Karachi.


LAHORE -- After having played their first Test on Pakistani soil, the national team players cannot wait for the second and final Test against Sri Lanka to be played at the iconic National Stadium in Karachi from December 19.

Pakistan have enjoyed a phenomenal record in Test cricket here which earned the stadium a nickname of being 'Pakistan's fortress in Test cricket'. They have won 21 out of 41 Tests here with only two resulting in defeats for them. With the first match ending in a draw and the upcoming Test providing Pakistan a chance to win the first Test series in the country in more than a decade and bag some crucial ICC World Test Championship points, their captain Azhar Ali is eager to lead the side at the historic venue.

Azhar Ali said: 'Pakistan have had an excellent record in Test cricket at the National Stadium and I can't wait for the toss. The whole team is excited for the match.' Growing up in Karachi, opening batsman Shan Masood has had ample opportunities to play first-class cricket at the iconic stadium. The 30-year-old is eager to open the innings for Pakistan in a Test match there.

Shan Masood said: 'Growing up we have seen some of the best cricketing action at the National Stadium which developed my interest in the game. I remember missing my school to watch a 1996 World Cup match between Pakistan and South Africa in which Aamir Sohail scored a century. Then there was an India-Pakistan match in which Rajesh Chauhan struck a six. That match went into the final over.'

Asad Shafiq, who boasts the record of most number of Test centuries at number six, is another player in the side who is well-aware of the conditions that the National Stadium offers in red-ball cricket. The KARACHI: born has been on both sides of the fence. Asad Shafiq said: 'I was screaming at the top of my lungs in the crowd when [Mohammad] Asif bhai got the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar at the National Stadium in a Test match. I had sore throat after the match. Asif bhai bowled an exceptional spell that day. It is a...

To continue reading