KARACHI: On the last day of Khiladi Ki Khoj, the talent hunt program of Karachi Kings, the owner of the franchise, Mr. Salman Iqbal addressed a press conference at National Stadium, where he revealed some big surprises for the fans. These surprises include addition of new players in the squad, change in management and the future plans regarding grooming talent at the grass root level.
First of all, the honourable owner of Karachi Kings, Mr. Salman Iqbal disclosed that the big bashing batsman from Caribbean, Chris Gayle has joined his franchise in the second edition of the PSL. Moreover, former Sri Lankan skipper and batting legend, Kumar Sangakkara is also included in the ranks as the wicketkeeper batsman and also the mentor of the team. He also revealed that the young Pakistani batting sensation, Babar Azam, who has taken the whole world by storm with three consecutive tons against the West Indies in the recently concluded ODI series, will also roar for Karachi Kings. Some of the surprises are kept secret for now and will be revealed after the PSL draft.
The advisory team is also been revamped as it includes now the head coach of Pakistan team, Mickey Arthur along with the other legends of the country, Rashid Latif, Saleem Yousuf, Iqbal Qasim, Azhar Mehmood and also Shoaib Malik.
On the other hand, the management has also been changed with Mr. Tariq Wasi appointed as the CEO, Rashid Latif is taken onboard as the Team Director, Navaid Rasheed as VP Operation, Shehzad Hasan Khan as head of Marketing, whereas Asim Qureshi will be responsible for Branding. However, Mickey Arthur will continue as the head coach of the team, but, Mushtaq Ahmed is being replaced by Azhar Mehmood as coach.
“Our confidence and belief in Karachi Kings has never been higher, with the morale of the team in high spirits, we are ready to take on any challenge and the team is all set to give a groundbreaking performance in the field,” said the honourable owner of Karachi Kings, Mr. Salman Iqbal during the press conference.
Talking about the talent hunt, Khiladi Ki Khoj, Mr. Salman Iqbal said, “The amount of talent that we got to see during the trial period has been astounding. With thousands of players coming in from all over Pakistan, we feel proud to be part of an initiative that is making efforts to bring new blood to this great game.”
The experienced selectors, who conducted the trials, shortlisted 350 young talented cricketers. Six best players out of the shortlisted cricketers will be send to the draft of PSL 2017 in the Emerging category. However, they will make 4 teams of 15 players each, which will play a tournament under the Karachi Kings foundation, whose chairman is Mr. Salman Iqbal. Furthermore, out of these 60 players, 15 players will be selected to make the Karachi Kings A team.
The Team Director, Rashid Latif also addressed press conference and mentioned the precious contribution of Karachi in Pakistan cricket. He honoured some of the legends during his address.
“Karachi has been the biggest nursery of the world for cricket, but, there are very few players that played at the highest level,” he said, “But, there are still three or four players that are playing and dominating Pakistan team,” he added.
He mentioned some legends and accredited them for bringing cricket to this city, “If I name Hanif Mohammad, Sadiq Mohammad, Mushtaq Mohammad, they are the names that put the base of cricket in Karachi.” He also named veteran cricketers like Javed Miandad, Wasim Bari, Basit Ali as legends from Karachi.
He further hailed the talent in Karachi and said that Karachi is champion in U-19 and U1-6 tournament conducted by the PCB. He also put the example of National T20 Cup, where both the Karachi Whites and Karachi Blues were in the final. Rashid Latif emphasized on picking up the talent from the grass root level and grooming them.