LAHORE: The Cricket Associations T20 Tournament featuring six Second XI sides will begin on Wednesday (today).
The single-league tournament will be played at the Bugti Stadium in Quetta and end on September 22. Two matches will be played each day. The first match will start at 9:30, and the second at 13:30.
The tournament provides an opportunity to budding youngsters to showcase their talent and get a chance to feature in the forthcoming National T20 Cup (First XI) to be played in Multan and Lahore from September 25.
Central Punjab who won the Cricket Associations T20 last year will be looking to defend the title under Saif Badar when they take on Faraz Ali’s Sindh on the opening day.
The captains of the participating teams while talking to pcb.com.pk expressed their delight over Chairman PCB’s monthly retainer increase announcement and talked about their preparations and combinations ahead of the tournament.
Jalat Khan of Balochistan said: “We had good practice sessions before the tournament. Our squad is balanced with good utility players in the side, but we will rely on our bowlers to restrict the opposing teams.
“The Chairman PCB’s announcement for increase in monthly-retainers for cricketers with domestic contracts will create a good healthy competition among the players,” he added.
Saif Badar of Central Punjab said: “The incentive announced by the Chairman PCB is really great for us. This will help us stay motivated. The players have worked really hard in the practice sessions and we are looking to play fearless game and defend our title.
“Our combination is good, covering all bases of batting and bowling departments. We have three all-rounders in our team, vital in the T20 format,” he added.
Zohaib Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said: “The increase will help players to work more on their fitness to compete at the international level.
“The players at our region play attacking cricket so we are looking forward to play our brand of cricket and win this tournament.
“Our combination for the tournament is good with mixture of senior and young players in the squad. We have some young players who will be playing for the first time in this tournament and they have showed some great skill work in the camp,” he added.
Umair Masood of Northern said: “The players had good practice sessions in the camp organised before the start of the season. We have a young squad as compared to other teams in the tournament and the players are really excited to perform to their best.”
Faraz Ali of Sindh said: “The increase in retainership is a pleasant surprise for us. It will motivate the players to do well and they will grab this opportunity with both hands.
“We have been working hard in the pre-season camp, especially for the T20 tournament,” he added.
Umar Siddique of Southern Punjab said: “The increase is quite satisfying for the players to go out and express themselves in the ground. The preparation for the tournament is good. We played some practice games in our pre-season camp and the players are eager to perform when the tournament resumes.”
Balochistan 2nd XI – Jalat Khan (captain), Awais Zia, Abdul Hanan, Abdul Nasir, Aftab Ahmed, Fahad Hussain, Fahad Iqbal, Gohar Faiz, Gulraiz Sadaf (WK), Hidayat Ullah (WK), M. Ibrahim Snr, M.Junaid, Mohammad Shahid, Najeeb Ullah Achakzai, Syed Zainullah and Taj Wali
Central Punjab 2nd XI - Saif Badar (captain), Ahmed Abdullah Safi, Ali Shan, Asad Ali Jnr, Gohar Hafeez, Haseeb Ur Rehman, Junaid Ali, Kamran Afzal, M Faizan, M Irfan Jnr, Mudassar Riaz, Muhammad Imran Dogar, Muhammad Tabriaz Butt, Nisar Ahmed, Sohaib Ullah and Umar Akmal
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2nd XI - Zohaib Khan (captain), Abbas Afridi, Ahmed Jamal, Aitizaz Habib, Amir Azmat, Maaz Khan, Mishal Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Nabi Gul, Niaz Khan, Sajjad Ali, Saqib Jamil, Syed Arif Shah, Tahir Khan and Yasir Khan
Northern 2nd XI - Umair Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Ali Imran, Aqib Liaqat, Asad Raza, Ather Mehmood, Mubasir Khan, Munir Riaz, Nasir Nawaz, Raza Hassan, Sadaqat Ali, Salman Irshad, Sarmad Bhatti, Taimoor Sultan, Zaman Khan and Zeeshan Malik
Sindh 2nd XI - Faraz Ali (captain), Ammad Alam, Arish Ali Khan, Asif Mehmood, Ghulam Mudassir, Imtiaz Laghari, Jahanzaib Sultan, Mohammad Afzal (WK), Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Umar, Rameez Aziz, Saad Khan, Saim Ayub, Shahid Meerani, Umair bin Yousuf (VC) and Usman Khan
Southern Punjab 2nd XI - Umar Siddique (captain), Ahsan Baig, Ali Majid, Ali Shafique, Dilbar Hussain, Hassan Khan, Humayun Altaf, Kaleem Ullah, M Shahryar, M Sudais, Moinuddin, Mukhtar Ahmed, Shahroon Siraj, Tayyab Tahir, Umar Khan and Yousuf Babar
15 Sep - Balochistan v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Central Punjab v Sindh
16 Sep – Northern v Southern Punjab; Balochistan v Sindh
17 Sep – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Southern Punjab; Balochistan v Central Punjab
18 Sep – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Sindh; Central Punjab v Southern Punjab
19 Sep – Northern v Sindh; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Central Punjab
20 Sep – Balochistan v Northern; Sindh v Southern Punjab
21 Sep – Northern v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Balochistan v Southern Punjab
22 Sep – Northern v Central Punjab.
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