Veteran seamer Tabish Khan was not expecting to be called-up to the Pakistan squad for the Test series against South Africa.
The 36-year-old enjoyed a good season in Pakistan’s first-class setup but believed his hopes of making the group were slim given his age and learned of his selection from a friend.
It is not clear if the quick will make the cut for the trimmed matchday squad of 16 but he is eager to soak in the occassion of his first Pakistan call.
“It sounds surreal to be honest because I had no idea that there was any chance of getting the opportunity [of selection in the Pakistan squad]. In fact, when the team was being announced I was busy with some work in my room when a friend rang up to inform me that I had been picked in the 20-member team,” Tabish told a virtual media conference on Wednesday.
Pakistan call-up believed to be a prank
Tabish’s mother even thought that somebody was playing a joke on her son, as the quick revealed.
“I thought my friend must be kidding but upon his insistence, I switched on the TV to see the squad being announced and I had it wait for a while my name was last to be read. Then only I realised my friend wasn’t joking. Thereafter, I told my mother and family members what has happened. But my mother, who was going out, kept saying: ‘Son, you had been constantly overlooked in the past despite your brilliant performances. Somebody is only pulling your leg.’
“However, when she returned shortly after afterwards she became very excited after watching the TV news and immediately sat on the praying mat to offer gratitude to the Almighty Allah, as did all family members. Just cannot express the feeling I had at the time. But nonetheless I was very, very happy.”
Tabish says that the prospect of making his Test debut in the familiar surroundings of the National Stadium in Karachi could ease his step-up should it come.
“Obviously, if one is used to the conditions then it becomes relatively easier to absorb the pressure that Test cricket brings. Therefore, I have fair idea of how the ball tends to behave during the course of the match. It would a dream come true Insha’Allah if I get the chance to play in my own city, and hopefully a decent performance open ways for further opportunities coming my way,” Tabish added. “But at the moment I prefer to live in the dream.”