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PSL a big step in finding new talent: Zaheer

March 20, 2018

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LAHORE: Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas on Monday said the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 tournament is a giant step in unearthing and polishing talented young cricketers of the country.

“Look at the players who have been inducted in Pakistan [national] team in recent years. They are the find of PSL and got into the limelight by showing their class during the previous editions of PSL,” Zaheed said in an interview to APP.

Pace bowlers Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz, leg-spinner Shadab Khan and opener Fakhar Zaman were the finds of the previous PSL editions while this year paceman Shaheen Afridi and batsmen Hussain Talat and Salman Agha have impressed with their talent, noted Zaheer.

“[Besides these] there are a few other promising cricketers who are part of the PSL. However [currently], they are in the process of developing,” he added.

“Finding talent from the PSL is an unending process and it will strengthen Pakistan cricket in years to come. Through this talent hunt we will be able to find a variety of players in batting as well as bowling,” underlined Zaheer.

He said the PSL is also helping the Pakistan cricketers develop their talent and skills by playing alongside world’s top-notch cricketers which is adding to their confidence besides improving the level of their game.

“With the passage of time while new talent emerges we will be having plenty of promising campaigners in our national cricket which will make our [national] team capable of obtaining desired results using the services of this young talent,” he said.

The former Pakistan captain said the Pakistan Cricket Board deserves praise for making the PSL a huge success as the event is liked by fans across the globe, adding the league has set certain benchmarks in quality of cricket and thrill.

“From its first edition till now [third edition], the graph of PSL has been going up, given the fact that it is being held partly in the UAE and partly in Pakistan. If the entire PSL is staged on home soil, it will have a deep-rooted impact on Pakistan cricket as our players will be competing in their own backyard alongside foreign stars,” said the former batting legend.

To a question, he said holding the PSL games at home will be instrumental in restoring international cricket in Pakistan, adding it is already playing its part in addressing the issue.

“Last year’s PSL final in Lahore was a breakthrough in ensuring the return of international cricket to Pakistan and it was good to see World XI and then Sri Lankan team visiting the country [for T20 International matches],” Zaheer recalled.

“The PCB is working hard to revive international cricket at home and the PSL is an added advantage in achieving this objective.”

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2018