Adeel Raza learnt a lot about his bowling over the winter when he spent time at the Pakistan National Cricket Academy – and now he is looking to hit top form as Carlton aim to stay in the hunt for three trophies.
The Grange Loan side are into the knock-out stages of the Murgitroyd Masterton Trophy, still in with a chance of winning the CSL Eastern Premier Division and through to the semi-finals of the Citylets Scottish Cup.
This evening they host Stewart’s Melville in the quarter-final of the Masterton T20 event and then tomorrow they welcome Mazars Grange in the league.
Given that it is third versus second in the table, Carlton know they need to win to keep their title hopes alive.
Much is made of the Carlton seam bowling attack led by captain Ali Evans, Corne Dry and Shiv Gupta, but they also have some good spinners.
Raza, a leg spinner, has built on a good 2018 this term and his form and confidence have also been helped by five months spent in Lahore in Pakistan over the winter.
“I had been out to Pakistan to play when I was a teenager and then for a couple of months the previous winter [2017/18] and this time around I stayed a bit longer,” Raza explained.
“To be based at the Pakistan National Cricket Academy is great because in the nets you get the chance to bowl to some brilliant players and it really helps you as a bowler.
“When I moved to Carlton it took me time to get a first XI chance because there are so many good players here, but I enjoy being part of this squad and I think that in the last few weeks we have really come together well as a unit.
“That now sets us up for an exciting end to the season, but we cannot look further than this weekend and the Grange game in particular is going to be interesting.
“They are a good team, but we back ourselves at home and are looking forward to it.”
Heriot’s are fourth in the league table and know that only a win at leaders ion8 Forfarshire can keep their title hopes realistically alive.
StewMel are on the road to Stoneywood-Dyce, with RH Corstorphine taking on Watsonians in a Capital derby at Barnton.