'Qurbaani ka bakra…': PAK captain Shan Masood on being called 'sacrificial lamb' | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Qurbaani ka bakra…': Shan Masood reacts to being called 'sacrificial lamb' ahead of Pakistan vs Australia Test series

Nov 30, 2023 04:18 PM IST

Recently appointed Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood doesn't believe he is the 'sacrificial lamb' ahead of the 3-Test series against Australia.

Shan Masood's first assignment as Pakistan Test captain is not an easy challenge by any stretch of the imagination. Masood, succeeding Babar Azam as skipper, will lead Pakistan in a three-match Test series in Australia starting December 14 and the stakes couldn't be any higher. Pakistan have been whitewashed in each of their five previous Test series in Australia, and hence, seem feel that by putting Masood at the helm, the PCB is trying to make him the scapegoat amid the entire World Cup fiasco.

Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood speaks during a press conference(AFP)
Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood speaks during a press conference(AFP)

However, Masood's career has witnessed a pretty impressive revival. Last year, he returned to Pakistan's Test set-up after a gap of one year, followed by a comeback to the ODI fold after 4 years only a few months ago. With Masood's stock on the rise, he is looking forward to the challenge; However, when a reporter inquired whether he was being labelled the 'sacrificial lamb,' the 34-year-old promptly denied such characterization.

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"We see it as an opportunity. When you haven't done something before in your history, then you are given an opportunity to go out there and try to change it. So that's what we're trying to do, to get a positive result for Pakistan and in this World Test Championship," Masood said in his first official press conference as Test captain.

"And as far as being qurbaani ka bakra (sacrificial lamb) is concerned, the captaincy, playing as a player in the side, these are all temporary things at the end of the day. As long as you are in that place, or seat, you should relish the opportunity, enjoy it and try and take responsibility, and give your best ability to the team."

Masood may not be a pro when it comes to captaincy but has a reasonable amount of experience at the role, having led Multan Sultans in the PSL, Derbyshire in the T20 Blast and Yorkshire in the County Championship just last season. But his real leadership acumen will be tested against the reigning Test and ODI champions, who are a different beast on their soil.

"I'm fortunate that I've had such opportunities along the way in my career. I've said before that when I became captain of Multan Sultans under Andy Flower, that was a big turning point in my career as a person and player," he said.

"I look back and reflect on that whenever I go through ups and downs as an experience that has helped me as a cricketer. Then at Derbyshire and then the Yorkshire project which was quite a challenging one because of the stuff that was happening there. So, to take that captaincy along, off the field and on the field the issues gave me some experience and hopefully I can use that for Pakistan."

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