England cricketer Chris Jordan, who was a key member of Peshawar Zalmi’s winning squad, termed his experience of playing the final of Pakistan Super League in Lahore a “pretty surreal and unreal.”
Jordan played his part in a remarkable night in Lahore as Peshawar Zalmi won the second edition of the Pakistan Super League in front of a packed house.
In an interview with ecb.co.uk, the Sussex and England man reflected on a whirlwind few days in Pakistan, and his decision to play a match many overseas players turned down.
“It was pretty surreal! Obviously from making the decision to go, we were well briefed and everything was well documented about how everything was going to run from the time we left on the plane from Dubai to the time we got back.” said Jordan.
“As soon as we landed in Lahore, we were met by military guys, escorted straight onto a bus and had a 10-minute drive to the hotel with a full escort. The road was cordoned off and no-one was on the streets – it was a bit unreal!” he added.
Reflecting on trip from Hong Kong, Jordan was pleased he made the decision to travel to the final.
“I was glad I was able to be there and experience it. I’ll be able to say I played cricket in Pakistan and won the trophy. It was a brilliant experience.” Said Jordan
“The reception we got said it all. They cheered every single ball for both teams, from ball one to the last. Their passion for cricket was immense. You’re on the boundary and you have people chanting your name!”
“It was immense and I had no idea that the passion for cricket was so great in Pakistan. The crowd in Lahore were brilliant – they really made the final.”
Winning the Pakistan Super League Final required a team performance and the Sussex man was keen to praise the leadership of the Peshawar Zalmi squad and the unity within the group
“Throughout the whole tournament we’ve really been gelling as a group and our owner Javed Afridi and the captain Darren Sammy – everyone was singing from the same hymn sheet and created a very good atmosphere in the dressing room to go out and perform.”
“It didn’t matter who was playing at any time in the tournament, because I didn’t play all the games, but it was a real team effort and I really felt part of something special.”
Jordan’s accomplished T20 performances for Sussex Sharks and England have not gone unnoticed around the world. A Big Bash League contract with Adelaide Strikers this winter followed a successful overseas stint at the Indian Premier League with Royal Challengers Bangalore, who lost the IPL final in 2016.
Jordan spoke favourably about the quality of cricket on show in the torunument, and the players online:
“In terms of the standard, I think it was very high. Every single team had some high quality overseas players and also the local talent was very, very good. It’s good they had a rule that each team had to play one emerging player, so you have a youngster coming through all the time.” Said Jordan
“If you check all the overseas players you had the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Kevin Pietersen, Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, the list goes on. The competition was very high. There were a lot of last over and last ball finishes.” He added
“There were some very exciting games and that’s what made it so competitive and a great spectacle. In comparison to all the other leagues it was right up there in terms of putting yourself in pressure situations and having to deliver for your team.”
With a number of England stars playing in the tournament, Jordan was able to enjoy pitting his wits against some familiar faces:
“It was brilliant, I had just come from India playing the T20 series with them. Eoin Morgan was on my team but playing against Jason Roy and Sam Billings and Tymal Mills and the rest was good fun. We had good fun on the field and there was a little bit of banter flying around.” Said Jordan
“It was good to see all the English guys carry on the good form they’ve had throughout the year – it can only bode well for English cricket guys going to these tournaments, playing in high pressure situations and improving their game in a short space of time.” He added.
With the English season rapidly approaching Jordan’s winter of globetrotting has moved to Hong Kong where he will take part in the T20 Blitz competition. He is however looking forward to a return to Sussex, a more experienced cricketer.
“I’ve had a brilliant winter so far. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a couple of different leagues and experience different cultures and experience guys with different ideas and play with some real high quality players.” Said Jordan
I think from that point of view my game has improved in a short space of time, from the Big Bash to going to India for the T20 series, then the PSL and now Hong Kong. I’m very much looking forward to getting back and getting started with the English summer.