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Sports

March 14, 2018

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Moin taking nothing for granted

SHARJAH: Quetta Gladiators are sitting pretty at the top of the HBL Pakistan Super League points table. They have ten points and with two more games to go, the last-year’s finalists are expected to capitalise on the momentum and finish as one of the top two teams from the league stage of the contest, writes Khalid Hussain.

But Moin Khan is taking nothing for granted. Quetta’s head coach warned on Tuesday that such is the nature of the T20 format that no team, no matter how good its position, can afford to relax.

“I know that we are in a strong position but I want to make one thing clear. We will be taking nothing for granted because anything can happen in T20 cricket,” the former Pakistan Test captain told ‘The News in an interview.

Quetta, who ended on the losing end in the finals of the previous two PSL editions, have back-to-back matches against Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad on Wednesday and Thursday in Sharjah. Even victory in either of the two games should put Quetta in the March 18 playoff in Dubai, the winner of which directly qualify for the March 25 finale in Karachi.

But Moin is not thinking about the final, at least not yet.“At the moment our sights are set on Wednesday’s match (against Lahore). The momentum is with us and I’m confident that the team will give its best,” Moin said.

With one leg in the playoffs, Quetta must be worrying about one question that their fans are already asking: Will the team’s foreign players be willing to travel to Pakistan for the playoffs?Last year, Quetta whisked into the final with a series of impressive wins but were let down by their foreign stars who refused to play the final in Lahore. The Gladiators were literally slaughtered by Peshawar Zalmi in the final at the Gaddafi Stadium.

“That’s certainly an issue for us but I’m sure that things will be different this time if we qualify for the playoffs,” Moin said.“We have been talking to our foreign players and most of them are willing to play in Pakistan. I’m really looking forward to having our entire first eleven available for the playoffs,” he said.

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