Jordan Thompson is relishing another chance to progress his game as he embarks on his first spell in the Pakistan Super League this week.
Thompson has landed in Karachi, where he will play for the city’s Kings team alongside Pakistan captain Babar Azam amongst others from Thursday through to February 27.
The Yorkshire all-rounder is currently undertaking a short quarantine period having arrived from Australia, where he spent the last two months helping Hobart Hurricanes into the finals of the Big Bash before being knocked out in the Eliminator by Jason Gillespie’s Adelaide Strikers.
Thompson described his time in Australia as “inconsistent off the pitch as well as being inconsistent on it” having been twice caught up in Coronavirus related issues.
But, nonetheless, he loved it, admitting it enhanced his game and wants exactly the same thing to happen whilst in the PSL, where Harry Brook, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and David Willey will also compete.
“I’m here for the full competition,” said Pudsey St Lawrence man Thompson, who has actually joined the PSL as a replacement player.
“I’m not actually sure who I replace!
“I only found out a couple of weeks ago that I had been signed.
“We have a strong team out here at Karachi. There is a strong English contingent in the squad – five or six of us – as well as in the whole competition.
“The PSL is renowned for having a lot of local players who are very, very good, which shows the depth of Pakistan cricket.
“It will be a good challenge, which I’m really looking forward to.
“I’m not sure I will play every game with being a replacement player.
“You can play four in your team, and we have Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan, who won’t arrive for the first game. So I might play the first one. Then we also have Lewis Gregory, Joe Clarke, Ian Cockbain, Tom Lammonby and myself.”
Thompson claimed eight wickets and scored 52 runs in 11 Big Bash appearances for Hobart, for whom he played alongside county colleague Brook.
“It was good,” continued the 25-year-old all-rounder.
“It’s a great tournament to play in. There were some great players at Hobart and in the competition as well. So, as a challenge and an experience, it was probably as good as it gets.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get as far as we’d have liked to, but I really enjoyed the tournament.
“Myself and Brooky both probably subconsciously thought that when you get there you have to win every game being an overseas player. That’s not the case.
“When you have players like Ben McDermott, Matthew Wade, D’Arcy Short, they are your international, standout players and are the ones to look to.
“Personally, batting wise I was disappointed with how I went about scoring runs. I didn’t do so well. I just didn’t adapt quick enough to conditions.
“Bowling wise, I felt I did well with the opportunities I got.
“I didn’t really get used in a consistent manner with the ball. That’s nothing against Hobart. They were working out how best to use me, whereas at Yorkshire I have a consistent role.
“I think I bowled 18 or 20 overs in the whole competition and took eight wickets.
“A strike-rate of a wicket about every 12 balls is not bad at all.
“I found myself bowling one over one game and then four overs the next.
“I bowled in some tough periods as well, which was something I really enjoyed.
“There was one time when I came in as an X Factor sub against Melbourne Stars and I was straight into bowl in the power surge against Maxwell and Stoinis. I felt like I bowled well in that scenario.
“I’ve played against lads like that before, but to do it against them in their home tournament and do pretty well was a big thing for me.”
In terms of dealing with the pressure of being an overseas player, it is work in progress for both Yorkshire stars, Thompson and Brook. On that basis, the PSL will be another valuable opportunity.
“When we sign overseas players at Yorkshire, you expect them to have an impact,” said Thompson. “But the main people to win games are the homegrown players who have been there year in, year out.
“Me going over there to new conditions in the BBL, I found it a bit tougher than I thought I would. And you have to take a bit of pressure off yourself.
“You have to look at the world-class players around you and feed off them.”
Thompson had to contend with two Covid-related issues whilst in Australia, where their rules and regulations are much stricter than in the UK.
“It was a bit of a nightmare to be honest,” he said, ruefully.
“I had a false start to the season and missed the first game.
“We were down in Melbourne for a couple of practice games and went to the MCG for a training session.
“I was walking back through the car park there, which is underground, and I saw a lad who was an overseas player at my former club in Yorkshire back when I was seven or eight.
“It had been 10 or 15 years since we’d seen each other, so we had a five-minute chat from a metre and a half apart. Unfortunately we didn’t have masks on and he tested positive for Covid a couple of days later. So I had to isolate for seven days.
“It wasn’t a great start.
“Then myself and Brooky were close contacts of a lad in our squad, Josh Kann, who tested positive.
“We had a couple of days to spare after New Year, so we went on a bit of a golfing trip a three-hour drive away to a place called Barnbougle.
“Josh had been in the car with us and tested positive whilst we were up there. That cost us another two games.
“Looking back, you could say it was inconsistent off the pitch as well as being inconsistent on it.
“But I learnt a lot from the players I played with, the likes of Wade, Short, McDermott, Ellis and Meredith. I know I’ll be better for the experience, that’s for sure.”