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Lahore Qalandars aims to provide opportunities to young rising talent: CEO Atif Rana

16 young cricketers were selected by Lahore Qalandars while the franchise sent many other players to Australia for further training

Lahore Qalandars
Lahore Qalandars. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Lahore Qalandars is the second most expensive franchises in the Pakistan Super League. The franchise is owned by Qatar Lubricants Company Limited (QALCO).  The team is lead by Brendon McCullum while Pakistan’s sensation, Fakhar Zaman is the vice-captain. The team coached by Aqib Javed earned the “Spirit of the Game” and “Fair play” awards in 2016. In the second edition of the PSL, the Lahore franchise started off quite well but suffered continuous defeats in the later stages.

The franchise representing the city of Lahore has been trying to provide opportunities to young talent. Lahore Qalandars featured in the Emirates T20 Trophy in March 2017.  Qalandars played two matches out of which they lost one against Lancashire and won the one against Birmingham.

Atif Rana, the Chief Executive of Lahore Qalandars expressed that the essential motivation force for him and the workforce has been the plan to give a chance to the new rising talent of Pakistan. The PSL franchise organized trials in Azad Kashmir where almost 35,000 young cricketers took part. The trials were held in August 2017. 16 young cricketers were selected by Lahore Qalandars while the franchise sent many other players to Australia for further training.

Salman has the potential to evolve into a great player

Salman Irshad, the rising fast bowler was one such find by the Lahore Qalandars. Impressed by his consistent pace, Salman Irshad – a resident of Rawalkot was picked in Azad Kashmir trails. Irshad was signed by Australian Cricket Club Hawksberry CC after his impressive performance during Qalandars’ recent visit.

He picked five wickets in his debut game NSW premier cricket, second-grade tournament. His impressive figures of 14-4-46-5 helped his club restrict University of New South Wales to a mere 189 runs. Lahore Qalandars’ CEO termed the pacer’s success as a fruit of the talent hunt conducted purely on merit.

“It’s the success of our rising stars program that players picked on merit are performing at every level,” he said while talking to Geo.tv. “They were very impressed with Salman’s bowling, especially his inswings. He’s a great potential for Pakistan cricket,” he added.

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