KOLKATA/KARACHI: The Peshawar franchise of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) – to be called Peshawar Zalmi – will be dedicated to the children and teachers of the Army Public School (APS), who lost their lives in a brutal attack by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) last December.
“Whatever we win will be dedicated to the martyrs of APS. This is our cause, the city’s cause, KPK’s cause,” franchise owner Javed Afridi, CEO of Haier Home Appliances, said.
“Zalmi, meaning youth, is just not a cricket team,” he said after unveiling the team logo at the premises of APS, an institution he is an alumnus of. “They are ambassadors of our frontiers, exponents of our sportsman spirit that lies in the hearts of every Pakistani.”
The logo, in the shape of a turban worn by the Pashtuns in the western frontiers of Pakistan, is in three shades – blue, yellow and white – signifying pride of the region, the skies and the energy of the people.
The word “Zalmi”, written in bold, is in a font designed to portray the team’s “head-on approach”.
Afridi underscored his wish to help rebuild the lives of the families who lost their loved ones last year. For starters, he said, he would take the families of the victims to the UAE to watch PSL “so that they get to have some happiness and joy for a short period at least”.
‘An expert coaching panel to uplift Peshawar’
Peshawar became the first PSL franchise to launch its logo and team name in a ceremony held at the APS. Team owner Afridi unveiled a star-studded coaching panel that will lead the team’s campaign in the first edition of the most lucrative domestic tournament in the country’s history.
Former England head coach Andy Flower, former head coach of the National Cricket Academy Mohammad Akram, coach of Peshawar’s two time national T20 team Abdur Rehman and Pakistan team trainer Grant Luden have been inducted as Peshawar Zalmi’s coaching staff.
Flower will be the batting coach/consultant; Akram will look after the responsibilities as head coach of the team while Rehman and Luden will be assisting in training activities.
“We have tried to keep a top-class panel that can help groom our team for bigger challenges. Flower is a renowned coach who did wonders for England; his presence can also help our players earn county stints since he has an involvement in the set-up there.
“Likewise, Akram has worked closely at the NCA and done in-depth work at the grassroot level. Rehman has also been rewarded for his outstanding work for Peshawar while Luden is already established as a trainer at the highest level,” said Afridi.
Afridi added that his franchise will not only groom the players but will also generate opportunities for them to ply their trade in leagues around the world, while the coaching staff will be expected to spot talented players who have the potential to make a name in domestic and international arenas.