BIRMINGHAM: Pakistani cricketer Shan Masood says that leading a club like Yorkshire in English county cricket is a “great honour” and a matter of pride for him.
Masood is the first Pakistani cricketer to captain in the club’s history since it was established in 1853.
Last year, he become only the second Pakistani player after Wasim Akram to lead a county team, when he was appointed captain for Derbyshire CCC for the T20 Blast tournament.
The southpaw, when asked about his decision to join Yorkshire, said that it was a huge opportunity which he is fully ready to embrace.
Masood’s remarks came while speaking to Geo News in an exclusive interview at Birmingham’s Edgbaston stadium after Yorkshire Vikings defeat in the opening match of the T20 Blast tournament against Birmingham Bears which the home team won by 34 runs.
“Indeed to be captain of a club like Yorkshire for which at least three previous captains of Pakistan team and someone like the great Sachin Tendulkar have played.
“Even some of the great English players from the past and present have represented this club.”
Due to his commitments with the national team, Masood missed the first few weeks of the current county season for Yorkshire. The Blast game against Birmingham was his second competitive game with the club, as its in-charge.
“It’s always difficult to adjust to conditions when you join the team when already few matches of the season are played.
“Unlike last year when I was available for Derbyshire CCC from day one, I’ve missed more than a month this season; it’s not easy to settle down quickly”.
In the opening match of the tournament, Yorkshire won the toss and decided to field first. They were in a good position when Birmingham lost four quick wickets for just 51 runs. However, the Bears still managed to score 200 runs.
Masood termed losing the match after being in such a strong position as “unacceptable”.
“We will have to look into our weakness and the team will have to learn quick lessons as we move forward”.
The good thing is that we have to play 14 games in the group stage, he said.
“Last year when I was leading Derbyshire Falcons we lost four out of six games in the beginning but when the group stage finished we managed to win nine games out of fourteen.”
The Yorkshire skipper vowed to learn from the mistakes saying that they can afford such mistakes early in the tournament and hoped to perform well to generate positive results for the team.
“We have a gap of a few days before our next game against Worcester Rapids so we will have some rest and more practice sessions”.
Shan said that fans have high hopes for him, especially with the start Yorkshire have in this season which is no way near satisfactory.
“Individual players and the will have to perform really well from now onwards, so we can get results in our favour. We just need one good result to build the momentum.
“A good team will always look to seize that momentum and achieve back-to-back victories”.