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February 21, 2019

England’s Evans excited to tour Pakistan


February 21, 2019

SHARJAH: Multan Sultans’ new recruit Laurie Evans looks forward to a memorable tour of Pakistan once the matches of the Pakistan Super League 2019 shift to the country, trusting the security arrangements made for the team, says a PCB press release.

Evans, 31, hit a polished 49 in Multan’s narrow seven-run defeat against Karachi Kings on his PSL debut before managing 15 in his team’s win over Lahore Qalandars.

Evans said it will be exciting to tour Pakistan when the league shifts there for the last eight matches, including the March 17 final in Karachi.

“Pakistanis are enthusiastic about cricket,” said Evans. “I am sure there is a real desire to bring international cricket back to the country. I am really excited to go to Pakistan and I am sure I will be looked after really well.

“That should be a great experience and I am sure it will be a memorable one and I am really excited and look forward to the games coming up.”

Evans will not be the first England player to tour Pakistan. For the first final played in Lahore in 2017 and three matches in Karachi and Lahore last year, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Dawson, Tymal Mills, Ravi Bopara and Samit Patel (2018) toured Pakistan.

Evans said he has always found Pakistan players talented and loving. “Every time I have played with someone from Pakistan, it’s been nothing but lovely,” said Evans who has also played in the Afghan League in Sharjah last year and Bangladesh Premier League this year.

“They are talented cricketers, so certainly Pakistan is a great cricketing country.”

Evans hailed the security arrangements for the players and teams. “I just trust the people looking after us,” said Evans. “We are looked after well here (in UAE). They wouldn’t put us in danger any more than they put themselves in danger. So, I am sure hopefully everyone in Pakistan wants the PSL to do well and it will be absolutely fine.”

Playing for Sussex in the Twenty20 blast in England last year, Evans topped the batting charts with 614 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 135.84. He also hit a blistering hundred for Rajshahi Kings in the BPL last month.

But Evans believed the bowling standards are the best in PSL. “Well, I mean I had a great winter. I have been to the Afghan league, T10 league and then the BPL, and now I am in the PSL and this tournament is the biggest and the bowling is the toughest I have faced.”

“It’s a great challenge and I am loving it. I am playing with a great squad and its getting better. I am learning and I hope to leave as a better player.”

Evans reckons PSL is a good experience for his career. “I think from my experience so far that the first game was good and it was good to get some runs. The second game was at a tough wicket and the bowling was of top quality, so there were no babbles at all. So you have got to be on it as a batter.

“The wickets aren’t the easiest to bat on, but hopefully in Sharjah the wickets would be good so we would be able to put the bowlers under pressure.”

He acknowledges the atmosphere in the February 14 opening ceremony was exhilarating.

“It’s been a great atmosphere, the opening ceremony was amazing. The crowd was good and we obviously have Lala (Shahid Afridi) in our team, so the crowd was good and I hope they keep coming. It’s exciting,” said Evans.

Evans said Afridi is a great ambassador of the game. “I have played against him a lot. He played for Hampshire; we played against each other in BPL and the T10. It’s nice to play with him for the first time and I am happy that I don’t have to face him here. He is a great person and a great ambassador for the game.”