Time Wednesday Jun 09 2021
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PSL 2021: Lahore Qalandars hopeful of a strong showing against Islamabad tonight

Lahore Qalandars CEO Atif Rana speaks to Geo.tv. Photo: Author

The Lahore Qalandars’ management is hopeful of their team putting up an impressive show when they take on two-time PSL champions Islamabad United tonight at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

In an interview with Geo News, the franchise's CEO Atif Rana said that it was important for the PSL brand to ensure these matches are organised efficiently.

“It was very important to complete the PSL 2021 season for the [sake of the] identity of the brand. We all want the PSL to become a top brand and its continuity is the main ingredient to keep it on the top," he said.

Rana said that with the PSL back on track, he now has his eyes set on what will happen on the field. He hoped the Qalandars will not let fans down throughout the tournament.

“Being a franchise owner, my job is to give the best facilities to the players. We --as owners -- did what was required from an administrator," he said, adding that the team "is a very good blend of youth and experienced players".

"I am very hopeful that the players will give their best on the ground and lift the trophy,” he said.

Lahore Qalandars were at the bottom of the table in the first four editions of the league. However, the franchise turned the tables around in the 5th edition and came close to winning the title but were defeated by arch-rivals Karachi Kings in the final.

He credited the Lahore Qalandars' player development program for changing the team’s fortunes.

“We always believed in creating players through a strong process. We knew that it won’t give us overnight benefits but now that we have started getting its fruits, we are on track," he said.

"We have seen so many players emerging from this program and playing for the Qalandars, and for others,” he noted.

“You already have seen many and I can tell you that there are over 128 in the pipeline. Today, Pakistan cricket is the ultimate beneficiary,” Rana added.

The Qalandars CEO added that he never lost hope and motivation despite the side being at the bottom of the table for four consecutive seasons because he always knew that something right was being done.

He also termed Lahore Qalandars an “emotional franchise” than a commercial franchise, saying that the fans felt connected to the team emotionally.

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