KARACHI: “Galle Gladiators will enter Lanka Premier League (LPL) with an aim to win the title in the very first year and will field a star-studded squad in the event,” team owner Nadeem Omar said here on Thursday while talking to media. The league will be played in Sri Lanka from Nov 20 to Dec 13.

By securing Galle Gladiators earlier this year Nadeem Omar, who also owns successful Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators, became the only Pakistani to own a franchise in LPL. It should be mentioned here that Gladiators had a solid draft as they picked up international icons Shahid Afridi and Lasith Malinga, former Pakistan captain and wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmad, Colin Ingram, Mohammad Amir, Hazratullah Zazai and emerging star Azam Khan.

Besides that, the team will also have the services of dashing Sri Lankan players which include Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Milinda Siriwardana, Akila Dhananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan and couple of more exciting players.

“I believe we have a squad which can help Galle Gladiators become champions in the very first edition of LPL and that will be our goal as well,” said Nadeem “We have always entered competitions to win it and I’m very happy with the squad we have put together.”

Sarfaraz to lead side, Afridi and Malinga feature in star-studded squad

Galle Gladiators have roped former Pakistan captain and living legend Wasim Akram as its mentor while Moin Khan will be the Head Coach. Nadeem said that he was delighted to have an inspirational figure like Wasim in the franchise. “We’ve brought in Wasim Akram as the mentor and it is a great opportunity for all the players and staff of the team to learn from his vast experience. These are golden opportunities for players to have people like Wasim, Moin, Afridi and Malinga all in one team and hopefully they will make most it,” he said.

Nadeem further said that Sarfaraz Ahmed will be the captain of Galle Gladiators while experienced official Azam Khan will be the manager.

Nadeem, who has previously served as President of Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA), stated that it was his love for Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan people which prompted him to believe in LPL. “Sri Lanka has been a great friend of Pakistan and I felt that I should support their league as a Pakistani. They have always stood by and we have stood by them so it’s about mutual respect between country to country and people to people,” Nadeem explained.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2020

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