LAHORE: Former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, whose team Islamabad United won the third Pakistan Super League title last Sunday in Karachi, said the victory was the result of better selection and great team-work.

Talking to media at the Annual Sports Day of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) at the Wapda Sports Complex here on Tuesday, Misbah, who was forced to miss the PSL final against Peshawar Zalmi due to injury, said his team was a well-balanced squad in all the departments and the boys played like a well-knit unit to earn the success.

Islamabad United won the PSL title for the second time, earlier winning the inaugural edition in 2016 as well.

Misbah also said that his team also learned a lot from the last year’s unfortunate episode of the spot-fixing which had severely dented his team’s chances then and kept them out of the title race.

“Learning our lesson well from the last season’s mishap, we moved ahead strongly and picked a better team that eventually emerged the winner,” he observed.

It may be mentioned that last year, three cricketers of islamabad United, namely Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif and Shahzaib Hasan of Karachi Kings were caught in a spot-fixing scam on the very first day of the PSL-II and were sidelined from the event. All three were later served punishments by a PCB appointed tribunal.

Other than the three players, United fast bowler Muhammad Irfan was also penalized in the scam despite the fact that he turned an approver after owning up to the charges of not informing the PCB promptly about the offers made to him by the bookies.

Misbah further said the staging of the two PSL playoffs and the final in Pakistan is a welcome sign and hopefully it would pave the way for restoration of international cricket in the country. He also hailed the arrival of the West Indies team to Pakistan to play three T20 matches in Karachi from April 1- 3.

Meanwhile, in the annual sports day, a total number of 336 men and women players of the SNGPL belonging to Abbottabad, Baha­walpur, Faisalabad, Gujran­wala, Sahiwal, Sheikhu­pura, Guj­rat, Islam­abad, Lahore, Rawal­pindi, Sargodha, Multan, Pesha­war, Wah Region, Projects and Head Office are participating in the disciplines of table tennis, badminton, volleyball, athletics, and tug of war.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2018

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