KARACHI: Lahore Lion’s T20 captain Muhammad Hafeez is pinning hopes on his team as they embark on their Champions League T20 (CLT20) campaign in India.
Lions have earned the right to compete in the qualifying round of the tournament set to take place in Raipur from September 13 onwards after winning the last domestic T20 event.
Speaking to reporters during the preparatory camp under way in Lahore, Hafeez confirmed that the team is to travel to India on Monday.
“This team has showed great form in the domestic circuit,” said Hafeez. “We have played well for two years now and we are going to India with great practice. The board has informed us that we are travelling today [Monday]”.
Earlier, there was a degree of uncertainty about the Lions’ participation in the tournament due to the current tensions at the Line of Control.
‘Talented players part of the squad’
Hafeez is banking primarily on himself and five other international players – Ahmed Shehzad, Wahab Riaz, Nasir Jamshed and Aizaz Cheema – but feels that the entire squad is capable.
“Six of the players in the squad have played international cricket while the rest are very talented,” he said.
“The squad members who haven’t played international cricket are keen on representing Pakistan at the highest level and that is an encouraging sign. Our aim is definitely to reach the main round and win every match that we feature in.”
The all-rounder added that poor weather conditions in Lahore had hampered their preparations but he was hopeful the players would hit their stride once they landed in India.
“Despite the rains, we have tried to practice hard and make the most of the opportunities that were available to us.”
The former Pakistan T20 captain also claimed that his team’s intention was to spread a message of love and peace across the border.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2014.
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