Thursday Sep 12, 2019
KARACHI: Top cricketers from the country have set their eyes on the glory in Pakistan’s prestigious first-class tournament Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which starts from Saturday at different venues.
In first round, starting from Saturday, Sindh will face Balochistan at Karachi’s UBL stadium and the Sarfaraz-led Sindh squad has set eyes on the maximum prize in the tournament.
The team has already held its practice sessions in Karachi under supervision of its head coach Azam Khan.
Sarfaraz Ahmed, Sindh’s captain, says he was happy with the balance of his squad and feels Sindh have the talent, skill and experience to with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
“It is a balanced squad with some very seasoned players. The first priority would be to make the team gel together. We have some experienced bowlers backed by Mohammad Hasnain, who has the ability to bowl with sustained pace which will be very useful in four-day cricket and it will be an ideal learning curve for him.
Sindh posses a strong batting unit having Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Abid Ali, Saad Ali and Khurrum Manazoor in line-up.
While Sindh is likely to have its innings opened by Khurram Manzroor and Abid Ali their batting will mostly revolved around experienced Fawad Alam, who has been in a decent form since last few years.
The batting will also have a solid base in the form of experienced Asad Shafiq, who has featured in 69 Tests for Pakistan scoring 4323 runs at 38.94, he has an abundance of experience in first-class cricket with a total of 138 matches, 8638 runs with 22 centuries.
Sindh’s fast bowling will be led by young pace sensation Mohammad Hasnain who has been tipped as next super-star of Pakistan Cricket. Hasnain who can bowl in the 150kph range will be Sarfaraz’s trump card along with seasoned bowlers Sohail and Tabish.
However, Hasnain is likely to miss initial rounds of the trophy due to his league cricket commitments.
“We have a very solid batting line-up with Khurram Manzoor, Abid Ali, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Saud Shakeel and Fawad Alam, while Omair Bin Yousuf is also a very promising player. Shehzar did very well last year,” Sarfaraz said about his team’s batting.
Sarfaraz says every game is important for his side but he would like to kick-off the tournament a win against Baluchistan in the tournament.
“We will take every game as it comes, obviously start is very important and a good start will help us gain some momentum.” He added.
The tournament will be played under new domestic structure with six Cricket Associations (provincials) replacing departments and regions from previous edition.
With PKR 10million in offer for the winners, the players are hopeful of giving their best in the tournament which will run till end of December with total 31 matches scheduled to be played at home and away basis.
2nd XI competition will also run simultaneously which will feature three-day matches.