DUBAI -  Hat-trick hero Junaid Khan has said legendry Wasim Akram’s presence at Multan Sultans helped him perform better and it’s just the beginning and there is a lot to come in coming Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches.

In an interview with The Nation, Junaid said that though he performed well in Peshawar Zalmi’s title victory last year, yet when he was picked up by Multan Sultans, he was so excited and made up his mind to perform to the best of his abilities. “I was fully aware that we have M Irfan and Sohail Tanveer as well. Off course, we all are left-hand bowlers and people thought there are a lot of similarities and it might not be good move to have three left-hand bowlers, but they all forgot that we are completely different with different skills and techniques and we are great help to each other.”

He said Multan Sultans winning start was no surprising for him or his team-mates. The Sultans have entered the tournament with bang as they won their first two matches and almost staged a tremendous comeback in the third against Islamabad United, where despite scoring 113 they almost carve out sensational victory.

“The matter of fact is we have a great combination of seniors and juniors. It is only a fresh team in the PSL by name but its every player has brought a great experience with them and each and every individual is a match winner by himself,” he said.

He praised his teammates and coaching staff for gelling in so well so early and developing as a well-knit unit. “Yes, it is true that we were not expecting to become one-unit so early, but it was quite clear to each and every one of us that we are bound to excel and create a lot of problems for opponents. Wasim Akram was a left-arm pacer, so it was of great help for us, while Tom Moody is also a great coach.”

When asked who is favourite to lift the PSL trophy, Junaid said: “We have a solid start in the third edition but there is so much left to play. We don’t want to be over-the-moon as these are early days and we know every team including Qalandars still are very much in the run for semifinal slot. We don’t care what people’s thinking rather we are just focused on deliver for our team.”

About his chances to get place in the national team, he said: “If one look at my career, it is full of ups and downs. I belong to a remote village, coming and playing for national team was a huge achievement for me. I never feel down, whenever I am not in the national team, rather I start working harder, which often pays off well. My job is to perform well and it’s up to the selectors, who consider me or not.”

He said the PSL is a huge initiative for Pakistan cricket especially for the youngsters and it would certainly provide Pakistan cricket a number of future stars. “It was instant success from the very first edition, as likes of Hassan Ali and others were unearthed and in the second edition, Shadab and Fakhar Zaman were found. Now in only a few matches, the youngsters have already started knocking at the national team doors.

“We are deprived of playing international cricket in front of home crowd, but the way the PSL final was held last year in Lahore, it showed the world that Pakistan can host any kind of mega event. Now three matches in Pakistan are going to take place and I am confident that next year by the grace of Almighty, more matches would be played in Pakistan and in an year or so, may be the entire PSL take place on home soil. There is nothing like playing on home soil, as the involvement of masses put extra lease of life in players too,” he added.

“Whenever I got the chance to play in any format, I take it very seriously and try to give out my best. I am also taking the PSL-3 very seriously and keen to perform very well in it so that my performances may impress the national selectors, and I may get a chance to represent my country once again,” Junaid concluded.