PSL 2023: Sam Billings impressed with Lahore Qalandars' skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi

The English wicketkeeper-batter talked about his time in the PSL with the Lahore Qalandars. He also heaped praises on the quality of fast-bowling in the league.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi and Sam Billing
Shaheen Shah Afridi and Sam Billing. (Photo Source: ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images and Twitter)

English cricketer Sam Billings lauded skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi for his finesse as a captain. After playing for Islamabad United in the first two seasons, Billings was signed by Lahore Qalandars for the eighth season of the PSL.

Billings was impressed with how quickly Afridi picked up his game and also praised him for his ability to deal with his multi-faceted role in the team. Billings also said that Afridi has been able to strike a balance between his role as the skipper and the strike-bowler of the team and has successfully taken up the challenge of managing both the roles.

Billings also hoped that with his cool and calm composure, Afridi could probably lead the team to another title.

"What struck me is how quickly he picks up the game. Especially for a young captain and a bowler as well, he's got a lot on his plate but how he's dealing with it. He's very cool, calm, collected character. And he loves the challenge. It's fantastic, his skills that he's shown all throughout this tournament hopefully he can lead us to another title," said Afridi.

Talking about his experience with Lahore Qalandars in the ongoing PSL, Billings said that the league and the franchise offers a great team environment. He also praised the lively crowd and said that it was good to have the crowd back after an intermission during the COVID outbreak. Although Billings has played the PSL before, this is the first time he is playing the league infront the team's home crowd in Lahore.

"Playing in front of a home crowd, all our games at Lahore have been unbelievable, full crowds everywhere, obviously after the last few years with COVID and everything it is so good to play infront of crowd and the support we've had has been incredible. For a foreign player coming over here you realize how much cricket means to the people over here," the wicketkeeper said.

Billings praises the quality of fast bowling in PSL

Pakistan has traditionally been known for possessing top-notch speedsters having the ability to run through any batting line-up. Billings didn't forget to mention the lethal bowling attack of Pakistan and praised the 'raw ability' of the players to clock 140-150 kph with ease. 

"Over here you see a lot of bowlers bowling 140 plus, 150. That's something that I see this the raw ability in terms of pace. I'd say it's right up there in terms of quality and in terms of enjoyment as well. I absolutely love it," said Sam Billings about the bowlers. 

The wicketkeeper also added that while practising in the nets, he always prefers keeping wickets to batting when facing Shaheen Shah Afridi. With the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Rashid Khan and Zaman Khan among the ranks, Billings finds it only better to be with them in the same team than having to face them.

Billings heaped praise on his teammate Haris Rauf as well and called him 'the life of the party'. 

“He's a great character full of energy, full of positivity. And now he's a great teammate, he's a great man and very much the life of the party,” said Billings, as mentioned in The News International.

When asked about his personal ambitions, the 31-year old wicketkeeper said that his only objective is to assist the Lahore Qalandars in retaining their PSL championship.

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