The Lahore Qalandars squad arrived in United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital Tuesday morning to participate in six-team Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy.
Qalandars squad is a mixture of seasoned and new players as the management decided to field a majority of player development programme talent in this tournament to provide them an opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
“This is a great opportunity for the youngsters to show what they have got. The world is watching them and this moment can turn them into a star,” said Rana Atif, CEO of Lahore Qalandars, upon arrival in UAE.
“This tournament is a great occasion and it’s an honour for Pakistan that Lahore Qalandars is participating in it.”
For Imran Nazir – who has recovered from career-threatening arthritis – this is the beginning of a new life after a nightmare.
“I have recovered from career-threatening arthritis that kept me away from cricket for four years. It was very hard time for me and recovery was very challenging. I’m grateful to all my fans who have been praying for me and thankful to Allah that I’m back,” he said while talking to this correspondent during Qalandars training session at Zayed Cricket Academy in Abu Dhabi.
“It was a nightmare for me and I have moved on from that. I have forgotten those four years like a one forgets a nightmare. I’m going to start a new life.”
Imran has now promised that he will try to be the same iconic flamboyant batsman as he used to be before disappearing from the scene due to illness.
“Lahore Qalandars have given me an opportunity to return to the cricket field, I am coming back after a long time and I’m thankful to Lahore for this. I’m doing my hard work and In sha Allah I will be able to give my best during Abu Dhabi tournament for Lahore Qalandars. I will entertain my fans once again the way I used to entertain them in past,” he aimed.
All-rounder Abdul Razzaq is also highly motivated for the tournament saying that he will dominate the bowlers during the tournament.
“It’s a very good opportunity for me to show that I’m still able to contribute good enough as a cricketer. I was out of cricket for the last three, four years and this is the best platform for me to prove myself,” he said.
“I will do my best to play in the same manner as I used to play and display positive attacking skills during Abu Dhabi tournament,” Razzaq aimed, saying that he will have an advantage as he has played in Abu Dhabi before and knows the conditions well.
The tournament will run from October 4 to 6 at Sheikh Zayd Stadium with six teams divided into two groups.
Qalandars will face Yorkshire Vikings on the first day of the tournament while on the second day they will face Hobart Hurricanes.
Here’s the Squad:
Sohail Akhtar (c), Abdul Razaq, Imran Nazir, Zulfiqar Babar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Ahsan Mirza, Shahzad Ali, Mohammad Bilal, Mohammad Faizan, Raja Farhan Khan, Salman Irshad, Haris Rauf, Maaz Khan, Ali Majid Shah, Philip Salt, Nuwan Kulasekra.