Islamabad United’s emerging cricketer and domestic season’s highest run-scorer, Muhammad Huraira shared his expectations for PSL 7 as well as the motivation behind his strong temperament. In an exclusive interview with ProPakistani, the 19-year-old batsman also talked about his experience with Islamabad United as an emerging player.
Expressing his expectations from PSL 7 as a young player for Islamabad United, Muhammad Huraira said, “PSL is a very good opportunity for any youngster and I am looking forward to enhancing my white-ball skills. There is a lot to learn out there. The team combination is very good, so whenever I get a chance, I will try to give my hundred and twenty percent on the field, which I always do.”
Talking about the importance of the Pakistan Super League for young cricketers, the 19-year-old said, “PSL is a very good platform for young players to learn because you get to share the dressing room [with international players] and you get coaching from international coaches, renowned in the world. It helps you boost your confidence as well as improve your cricketing skills. So, it is a very good thing that PCB has obligated franchises to choose two emerging players in their team and every team has to play at least one emerging cricketer in playing eleven in every match.”
When asked to name the most supportive person from Islamabad United, Muhammad Huraira said after a pause, “Everyone”. He further added, “If I name a specific person, it would not feel okay because everyone especially the seniors are just so supportive towards the emerging players. I don’t feel like I am a new guy here, it just feels like family.”
Expressing his thoughts about his skipper in Islamabad United, Shadab Khan, the young batsman said, “Shadab Bhai is very supportive, kind, generous, helpful. He is always looking to help others. He is very committed to his game, that’s the thing I like most about him. He just goes out and gives his hundred percent, throws himself in the field. The effort he puts in, that’s just amazing. He is the most supportive and helpful captain, I have seen till now.”
Sharing his experience with Islamabad United, the emerging cricketer said,
“The atmosphere of ISLU is just like a family. We play as one unit, on and off the field. Not just the local players, but also the foreigners. They have been Islamabad United for 2-3 years now. They are just like a family and they are all very supportive. Help each other out, back each other in the bad patches also. If someone is not performing, they don’t criticize him, they just boost him up. It is just like family, like Alex [Hales] is here, Stirlo [Paul Stirling], [Colin] Munro. Not just the local players, Hassan Bhai, Shadab Bhai, they are always supportive, but also the overseas players as well.”
Further explaining the driving force behind the fighting spirit of Islamabad United, Muhammad Huraira revealed that it is their family-like environment. He told that even in hard times, there is no criticism for any player but just confidence and support and that’s what keeps Islamabad United always united.
Being the highest scorer of the red-ball format in domestic cricket and now playing a T20 league, Muhammad Huraira picked up ODI cricket as his favorite format of cricket. He said that the 50-over game tests the power-hitting abilities and patience of a batter.
Smashing a triple century in his debut season of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Muhammad Huraira termed the innings as his best achievement yet. The young batsman said, “The best achievement till now is 311 that I made against Balochistan in the recent domestic season.”
Talking further about his magnificent debut in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the triple-centurion said,” Quaid-e-Azam Trophy was a very good experience. Learned a lot of new things. Came to know about some of the flaws in my batting. Hopefully, when I will come back next year, I will try to overcome the flaws which I have noticed. Overall, it was a very good learning experience.”
Also sharing his most hurtful moment of the career and an even stronger comeback, Muhammad Huraira said, “Most heartbreaking [moment] was back in 2018 when I was left out from U-19 regional squads. I couldn’t get myself a place in there. But that thing helped me a lot and I took it positively. The next year, I worked hard and aimed to be the top scorer in the domestic U-19 tournament. I achieved it and then played for Pakistan U-19.”
Also revealing the secret behind his unwavering determination towards the game, Muhammad Huraira shared the most valuable advice he was ever given, “An advice which is always in my mind is from the icon, the legend, my uncle, Shoaib Malik. He also advises me and as a reminder always tells me whenever we meet that ‘you need to satisfy yourself”.
“You have to go out there and complete your process, the result is not in your hand. Your intent, your body language determines what the outcome will be. You can not predict the outcome. Just try to give your hundred percent on the field. When you do that, most of the time the result is in your favour.’ So, I just try to do that and it has paid off a lot of times.”
Sharing more of Shoaib Malik’s tips, Huraira told that Shoaib Malik always tells him to keep training even if he is not playing.
Answering a question about his favorites in the game, Muhammad Huraira told ProPakistani, “Well, there is a long list of favorites. The inspiration you can say is obviously my uncle, Shoaib Malik. The way he has shaped up his long and prolific career, he is my inspiration. Favorites from current cricketers are Kane Williamson, Babar Azam, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Steve Smith, and Joe Root. From former cricketers, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Muhammad Yousaf.”
In an answer to a question about the favorite player from the current Pakistan team, Muhammad Huraira said, “My favorite from the current Pakistan team is actually the whole team because the quality of cricket they are playing makes it very hard to pick one. So, the entire team is my favorite.”
When asked about how he learned to bat, Muhammad Huraira told ProPakistani that he can not pick one batsman since he always tries to learn from everyone and whenever he sees a bright aspect in anyone’s game, he picks it up and tries to implement it in his own batting.
Talking about the hardships in his cricketing journey, the Sialkot-born added, “There are difficulties in every field but I have learned a lot about every aspect of life through playing cricket. There are hard times in every field of life but the key is to stay confident and be ready for the opportunity whenever it comes your way.”
Concluding his journey in the field of cricket so far, the 19-year-old shared, “It was a dream of my father and my late grandfather which I am living today. They wanted me to become a professional cricketer and my journey has been very good because of the support from my family.”
Muhammad Huraira is currently participating in PSL 7 for Islamabad United and he has set the sight to not only represent Pakistan in all formats but also ultimately become the top performer in Green Jersey.