ISLAMABAD: The second phase of Lahore Qalandars’ player development program – which is an action-packed tournament among selected teams – is set to kick off from Tuesday (September 4) in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir.
The picturesque stadium in Muzaffarabad will host four teams of group A for the tournament – Kashmir Qalandars, KP Qalandars, Gilgit Qalandars and Pardesi Qalandars – from 4th to 6th September.
Ahead of the serious business, all the four teams had their brief training camp in Rawalpindi in which teams played warm-up games against each other which allowed the coaching staff to understand each player according to the requirement of respective teams.
The stay in Muzaffarabad also allowed players of Pardesi Qalandars – a team comprised of 17 Pakistani expats from different countries – to acclimatise with the weather.
“Three days here allowed my players to gel with each other and also to get used to with the warm weather here,” said Ali Naqvi, the head coach of Pardesi Qalandars.
“The team is very good and I’m sure Pardesi Qalandars will surprise everyone in the upcoming tournament,” said the former Cricketer.
Pardesi’s captain Daniyal Chaudhry was also hopeful for the better results.
The upcoming tournament is also a first time opportunity for the players from Gilgit who are eager to prove their mettle.
“I was first from Gilgit to represent Pakistan U16 and now I’m eyeing to be the first one from the region to play PSL and then represent Pakistan,” said aspiring Qalandar Inayat Balti who hails from Skardu.
Kamran Sajid, the coach of Gilgit Qalandars said that his players are highly motivated and looking forward to the tournament.
“The results of warm up matches don’t reflect the actual strength. We tried and tested various combinations in these games and we now know how to take the team forward,” he said.
The tournament provides a great incentive to all the aspiring Qalandars to perform and be part of Lahore Qalandars development squad which will tour Australia this year and from there get themselves proved for PSL selection.
Last year, from same program, Salman Irshad emerged as hero and he has termed the player development program a great opportunity for all the Cricketers.
“I haven’t seen any other program of such magnitude. I was no one last year but because of LQ, now everyone knows me. So, this is a great opportunity for all the young Cricketers to show what they have got and become hero overnight,” said Salman Irshad.