After two disastrous PSL seasons, Qalandars are all set to enter the season 3 of PSL, and this time they have done their homework. Lahore Qalandars was the second most expensive team of PSL, having the largest fan-base across Pakistan and all over the world. Despite having heavy names like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Cameron Delport, they couldn’t manage to qualify for playoffs in season one of PSL.
In season two, they did not miss the chance to grab Brendon McCullum as their skipper and traded Chris Gayle with Karachi. In the second season, they had bowlers like Sunil Narine, Yasir Shah and Sohail Tanvir, and Batsmen like Grant Elliot, Fakhar Zaman, Umar Akmal and Baz as their Captain, yet they weren’t able to qualify for the playoffs again. In season 2 they even achieved the record of lowest total in the history of PSL .i.e is 59 against Peshawar Zalmi.
But nobody can undermine the passion of Qalandars for the game. They keep arranging various programs across different cities in search of talent from the grassroots level.
After the first awful season, LQ began a talent hunt program named as Jazz Rising Stars – a unique Talent Hunt program to find young cricketing talent from the streets of Punjab and take their unbridled passion for cricket to newer heights by setting up training and developmental sessions. Through this program, they send players to Australia to get trained with Sydney Thunders, and at the end, two players will get chance to play for Lahore Qalandars. Hmm, Interesting!
Credit must be given to LQ, for initiating such programs. Talking about giving chance to talented players, they picked young, enthusiastic, a fast bowler of Pakistan U-19 team, Shaheen Afridi and also they picked Salman Irshad from Kashmir. They saw the talent of Salman in Jazz Rising Stars, and sent him to Australia, with his impressive bowling, a local Australian club signed him for the remainder of the season.
For the season three of PSL, Qalandars are well prepared. They appointed Inzamam-Ul Haq as their Batting consultant, Shoaib Akhtar as bowling mentor and Aaqib Javed as head coach.
This time in their squad looks like this:
Batsmen: Cameron Delport, Fakhar Zaman, Brendon McCullum (captain), Sohail Akhtar, Chris Lynn
All-rounders: Aamer Yamin, Bilawal Bhatti, Bilal Asif, Anton Devcich (replaced Angelo Mathews)
Wicket-keepers: Umar Akmal, Gulraiz Sadaf
Bowlers: Sohail Khan, Sunil Narine, Yasir Shah, Ghulam Mudassar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Raza Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Shaheen Afridi, Imran Khan
Dinesh Ramdin will be cover for Mustafizur Rahman.
Let’s see what Qalandars can pull off with this star dusted squad having Baz as their skipper, and batsmen like fearless Fakhar, charming Chriss Lynn, and angry Akmal, and an incredible bowling line up with a mixed combination of fast and spin bowling.
Seems like Qalandars are going to surprise everyone in this season. Well, we all wish them best of luck.