Spinner Imad Wasim savouring every moment with the Tallawahs

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, August 18, 2018

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The name Imad Wasim may not readily come to the mind of many local cricket fans when they think of Jamaica Tallawahs.

But the Welsh-Pakistani has been a player of immense value to the Jamaican franchise over the past two season of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament.

Wasim, who joined the Tallawahs outfit when they won their second title in 2016, missed out on the entirety of last year's tournament after he was recalled by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to undergo fitness tests.

Prior to his departure, Wasim had picked up four wickets in the 17 overs he bowled for the Tallawahs in five matches. An impressive economy rate of 5.35 was the best for the franchise at the time.

However, the slow left-arm orthodox bowler, who is also a capable lower order batsman, is now back for a third stint with the two-time champion franchise and is already making an impact in this sixth edition of the CPL.

“It is fantastic being at the Tallawahs, each time I come here the bond with the players is like a family and that along with getting the love of the Jamaican people is really nice. So I love being here, I always told everyone that I loved playing for Jamaica with nice people and it is like a second home to me,” Wasim told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview.

In his two seasons so far, Wasim bagged 18 wickets in 20 matches at an economy rate of 5.54, including one three-wicket haul and a Man-of-the-Match accolade.

Having been scarcely called upon to do much with the bat, Wasim has only tallied 69 runs in those 20 games, boasting a strike rate of 116.94.

The 29-year-old has so far taken three wickets in the three games won by the Tallawahs and despite still recovering from an injury, he is backing himself to be a formidable opponent as the tournament progresses.

“I haven't played cricket for about four to five months because of my knee and condition, but I had a couple of practice games and a lot of training, so I am recovering nicely. There was no pain for the first game and so I hope to continue in this vein and lift my mental strength.

“I am doing well right now and so it is just a matter of me executing some more as we go forward. So I am trying not to be overconfident, it is just a matter of doing a job for the Tallawahs,” Wasim noted.

“I don't really put much focus much on whether I have an outstanding performance or not, if I do well and the team wins then that's what I want. I just want the team to win, so whether I take one wicket or five wickets, as long as the team wins I am happy because it is a team sport not an individual sport,” the affable player added.

currently heading the standings on six points with a perfect win record, Wasim is optimistic that they can solidify their charge to a play-off spot with victory over Guyana Amazon Warriors in the first of three games at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida, today.

“I am very disappointed that we only have two games in Jamaica this year because the first year I played we had four games and it [the venue] was jam packed. But our second home is in Lauderhill where there is a lot of Jamaicans, so hopefully they will come out and support us,” he reasoned.

And like the many Tallawahs fans and players, the all-rounder is eyeing a second title with the team and their third overall.

“I would really like to win this year; it has been a fantastic couple of years for us so hopefully we can take back the title this year. It is just a matter going out there and sticking together as a team which is really important, the cohesiveness of the team is really good and we want to build on that,” Wasim ended.

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