KARACHI: Pakistan’s top 75 cricketers will be featuring in the 2016 Pakistan Cup when the tournament commences from April 19 in Faisalabad.
The tournament, which is Pakistan’s biggest domestic one-day event, will follow the format of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and will feature five teams — Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Sindh, Punjab and Federal Capital.
Balochistan will be led by Pakistan ODI skipper Azhar Ali, while veteran batsman Younus Khan will lead K-P. Shoaib Malik will captain Punjab as newly-instated T20 skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Test captain Misbahul Haq will lead Sindh and Federal Capital respectively.
Pakistan Cup to begin in Faisalabad from April 19
The five captains and trainers picked their teams through a drafting process that took place at a local hotel in Lahore yesterday. The captain had to pick their team from a pool of 150 players and to keep the tournament evenly balanced, each team was required to pick at least one U19 player.
Misbah, who selected several players who had played under him in the PSL, was highly appreciative of the drafting process as it allowed selection of a well-balanced team.
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“The introduction of the player’s draft is a good thing because it allows captains and coaches to select the best possible team,” said Misbah. “We tried to select those who have been performing well in different tournaments and now it’s a good opportunity for them to impress. I tried selecting players who played under me in Islamabad United because I know how to utilise them and am comfortable with them as well.”
Sarfraz, meanwhile, was critical of the drafting process as, according to him, it doesn’t allow the captain to experiment with different strategies.
“Draft is a bit difficult because strategies continue to change with every pick,” he said. “But it’s a good thing as captains and coaches can select best possible teams. I’m happy that we were able to select the targets we had in mind.”
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Federal Capital: Misbahul Haq (C), Sharjeel Khan, Nasir Jamshed, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Zakir, Hammad Azam, Sarmad Bhatti, Kamran Akmal, Imran Khalid, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Irfan, Hassan Ali, Mohammad Abbas and U19 player Arsal Sheikh.
Sindh: Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Khurram Mansoor, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Waqas, Shoaib Maqsood, Khalid Latif, Fawad Alam, Saad Ali, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Rumman Raees and U19 player Hassan Khan.
Punjab: Shoaib Malik (C), Mohammad Rizwan, Salman Butt, Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq, Asif Ali, Akbarur Rehman, Amir Yamin, Saad Nasim, Kashif Bhatti, Ehsan Adil, Ammad Butt, Adnan Ghaus, Zulfiqar Babar and U19 player Saif Babar.
Balochistan: Azhar Ali (C), Owais Raza, Ramiz Raja Jr, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Shahid Yousaf, Mohammad Hassan, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Tanveer, Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Umar Gul, Osama Mir, Saeed Ajmal and U19 player Imran Khan Jr.
K-P: Youns Khan (C), Ahmad Shahzad, Fakhar Zaman, Rameez Aziz, Naveed Yasin, Musadiq Ahmed, Bismillah Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Rahat Ali, Azizullah, Sadaf Mehdi, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Zohaib Khan and U19 player Hayatullah.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2016.
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