KARACHI: Sometimes all it takes is one moment to define your entire career and Pakistan pacer Rumman Raees certainly feels that way as he credits his solitary appearance in the Champions Trophy as the reason behind him being signed up by county side Durham.
Raees’ chance came in the semi-final against England when star pacer Muhammad Amir was side-lined with back spasms. The left-arm pacer took his opportunity with both hands, claiming two wickets and giving away just 44 runs against arguably the most devastating batting attack in 50-over cricket.
“That one match has taken my career to another level. It has helped me a lot, but that one performance has years of hard work behind it,” Raees told The Express Tribune.
The semi-final appearance may have been his only ODI game so far but Raees had already caught eyes with some impressive performances for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“The PSL helped me boost my performance and earn a place in the national side,” he said. “And then that match helped me take another step in my career.”
The Karachi-born now hopes he can impress in England, and already has an eye on the 2019 World Cup. “The World Cup will be held in England, so playing county cricket there and getting used to the conditions will help me a lot,” he said.
Raees has worked on his fitness in recent years, shedding a lot of weight in the process, and praised the recently held high performance camp in Lahore. “The camp has made me more fit,” he said. “I worked really hard at the camp along with the other players. We were mainly working on our weaknesses and trying to overcome them.”
Pakistan won the Champions Trophy against all odds, coming into the tournament as its lowest ranked side, and Raees admits that unlikely triumph has lifted moods across the board.
“All the players have been working hard after the Champions Trophy triumph,” he said, before discussing the competition for places in the side. “Each and every player is working on his fitness and skills to make his place in the team. The win has boosted moral and it is good to see everyone working so hard.”
Raees revealed that head coach Mickey Arthur has asked everyone to stop celebrating now and put their head down once again.
“I am confident that I will do well in upcoming tours and series,” he said. “I want to make my country proud through my performances and for that I have been working hard and will keep on doing so.”