Zadran: 'Blasts keep happening but we need to focus on cricket'

Zadran himself escaped an attempt on his life in 2017 when the car he was travelling in was shot at by unknown assailants.

Afghanistan fast bowler Shapoor Zadran sends down a delivery during the first T20 against Bangladesh in Dehradun.

The bullets and blasts narrative that is associated with sportspersons from war-ravaged countries doesn't sit well with Afghanistan speedster Shapoor Zadran, who wants the stereotypical perception to change.

The fast bowler says it is heart-breaking that tragic incidents keep taking place in the war-torn nation but as professional cricketers, they have no option but to move on.

Zadran himself escaped an attempt on his life in 2017 when the car he was travelling in was shot at by unknown assailants.

"They (blasts) keep happening but we have to forget that. Every month there is an attack. We are on tour mostly, what option do we have? We have to put it behind and focus 100 percent on the game," Zadran, who is leading the pace attack in the T20 series against Bangladesh, said when asked about the shooting that he survived.

READ: Afghanistan hopes to seal the series against Bangladesh

His long hair remains intact but injuries have taken toll on the 30-year-old body. Ahead of the opening T20 against Bangladesh, he trained with a strapped knee but was still able to generate decent pace from his long run-up.

Having not played a first-class game since August 2013, it is hardly a surprise that he is not in the squad for Afghanistan’s inaugural Test against India in Bengaluru, starting June 14.

For someone, who played in Afghanistan’s maiden World T20 and World Cup in 2010 and 2015 respectively, it is disappointing to miss out on the historic Test.

Focus on limited overs

"It is disappointing to miss out but I have not been able to play four-day cricket because of injuries. I am fit now and can still hit 140 kmph consistently but I am focusing mainly on limited overs cricket," Zadran said.

"I have been playing the game for 16 years now and it feels really proud to see that Afghanistan cricket has come such a long way. Never thought we would be playing a Test match against India," added the lanky left-arm pacer.

He may not be the fittest in the team but his bowling still packs a punch. Zadran snared up three wickets in the series opener on Sunday, castling Abul Hasan with a yorker and the one he bowled to rival pacer Rubel Hossain was fast enough to break the leg stump.

When asked how long he is going to continue playing, Zadran said, "I think I still have a lot of cricket left in me. I will play as long as I am fit. I want to retire after playing an international match in Afghanistan."

Eyes on IPL

A die-hard Shah Rukh Khan fan, he hopes to play in the IPL and emulate the success of his teammates.

"This time we had three players (Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman) in the IPL. The number will only increase next season. I learnt a lot while playing the Bangladesh Premier League. Hopefully, I will get a chance in the IPL" Zadran signed off.

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