LAHORE: Karachi Kings’ president Wasim Akram speaks to reporters as head coach Dean Jones (L) and captain Imad Wasim look on during the PSL draft on Friday.—White Star
LAHORE: Karachi Kings’ president Wasim Akram speaks to reporters as head coach Dean Jones (L) and captain Imad Wasim look on during the PSL draft on Friday.—White Star

LAHORE: Former Pakistan captain and head coach Moin Khan on Friday reiterated his stance that national team’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq’s should not be allowed to have any role as head coach of Islamabad United in the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which is scheduled to be held next year.

Talking to reporters at the players’ draft ceremony which was attended by the officials and key cricketers of all the six franchises at the National Cricket Academy here on Friday, Moin said it was a huge conflict of interest that Misbah being the head coach and chief selector and batting coach of the Pakistan senior team, would also act as head coach of Islamabad United.

He said the PCB should review its decision of allowing Misbah to play any role in the PSL as an official of any franchise.

Meanwhile, former Test captain and fast bowler Wasim Akram said the PSL had a big role in bringing back international cricket to Pakistan. He said it was a good omen that all the matches of PSL-2020 would be held in Pakistan.

Commenting on Pakistan’s recent tour of Australia where the tourists lost both the T20s as well as both the Tests matches by an innings, Wasim said no significant improvement could be seen in team’s performance despite change in captain and the coach. He, however, admitted that the tour of Australia had never been easy for Pakistan in the past, too, and it was a long time ago that Pakistan earned any success Down Under in 1995.

Meanwhile, ex-Test skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, who is once again leading Quetta Gladiators in the PSL after they won the title last season, said he was delighted that all the matches of PSL’s fifth edition would be held in Pakistan.

“As captain of the Gladiators, I will try my best to defend the title in Pakistan. The PCB has decided to hold all the matches in Pakistan and initially it has planned to hold these matches at four centres — Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan.”

Meanwhile, Sarfraz said Australia’s prominent all-rounder Shane Watson was ready to play all the matches in Pakistan and that was a good news for his team.

Discarded Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal of Peshawar Zalmi said his sole purpose is to pay a leading role to win the PSL trophy for his team. He said his job was to give his cent per cent and rest was the job of the selectors. Kamran said he did not need any support except of his own performance to claim a place in any team.

Former Test off-spinner and now the coach of Islamabad United Saeed Ajmal said he was happy that all the matches of the PSL were being held in Pakistan. He regretted that his desire to play international cricket in Pakistan could not be fulfilled, but now as coach he would be performing on home soil.

Former Test bowler Aaqib Javed of Lahore Qalandars said though he had picked the best team in the past, injuries to some players hampered his team which could not click in the previous PSL editions. However, he said his franchise would pick the best team again and will definitely go for the title.

He said in fact, the PSL was taking a real start from the next edition as for the first time all the matches were being held in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the owners of all the six franchises also termed it as a good omen that all the matches would be held in Pakistan next year.

Lahore Qalandars’ owner Fawad Rana said it was a dream for him to see all the matches held in Pakistan and finally that was happening now.

Ali Naqvi, the owner of Islamabad United, said he was excited over seeing that the PSL was being held in Pakistan. He said his franchises decided to have the services of Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach to take full advantage of his experience. He said it was the policy of his franchise to bring his senior players into the role of coaching step by step.

Peshawar Zalmi’s owner Javed Afridi said it was not easy to bring cricket back to Pakistan. “This was a war which Pakistan finally won through cricket.” He said all the owners of franchises should also promote other sports.

Karachi Kings’ owner Salman Iqbal said the happiest moment for him was that the entire PSL next year would be held in Pakistan. He said his franchise had brought in Dean Jones as head coach and it had appointed Imad Wasim as captain and Babar Azam as vice-captain.

Meanwhile, following selections were in the platinum category made till the filing of this report: Jason Roy (Quetta Gladiators), Chris Lyon (Lahore Qalandars), Moin Ali (Multan Sultans), Dale Steyn (Islamabad United), Alex Hales (Karachi Kings).

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2019