In conversation: CEO Mirpur Royals discusses vision and strategy for the first edition of Kashmir Premier League

Adil Waheed outlines his plans to improve and embolden local players' capacity for the current and upcoming editions of KPL.
Updated 17 Aug, 2021 03:48pm
Adil Waheed, CEO and co-owner Mirpur Royals
Adil Waheed, CEO and co-owner Mirpur Royals

Chief Executive Officer and co-owner Mirpur Royals, Adil Waheed, has said that Kashmir Premier League (KPL) has created a positive image of Pakistan and provided an opportunity for local talent to showcase their skills.

Adil Waheed is a known businessman whose passion lies in sports. As an active polo and cricket player, Adil has made many contributions to the field. The businessman is also seen regularly participating in philanthropic activities.

During an interview on the ongoing KPL tournament in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Adil shed light upon team strategy, the reason behind opting for Mirpur Royals, BCCI’s warning and KPL’s contribution towards promoting regional cricket.

Please share your views about the inaugural edition of KPL?

AW: KPL is not only an addition in the T20 leagues circuit, but also an opportunity to show this beautiful land of breathtaking valleys that has churned out tremendous potential in youth and local cricketers.

India tried to stop foreign players from KPL. Any comments?

AW: Sports bring countries and people closer. It should be the choice of players to choose where to play. Healthy completion between participating countries and players always brings positivity and goodwill.

What is Mirpur Royals' strategy and preparation for the league?

AW: As we intended to have a well-blended team, we have carefully picked our players. Shoaib Malik, captain of the team, needs no introduction; he is a high profile player with a lot of experience of playing T20 leagues all over the world.

Having a captain of Shoaib’s calibre, I believe that our players will get to learn a lot.

We also have Pakistani international players such as Sharjeel Khan, Khushdil Shah and Muhammad Irfan and a couple more. Our primary focus and intention was to pick young talent from Kashmir, so we have got some promising young players from Kashmir as well.

Inzamam ul Haq, the coach of Mirpur Royals, has been instrumental in developing the strategy and leading preparations. We are so lucky to have him with us as a coach; he has already made his impact on the team and is helping the players prepare for the tournament.

Expectations from the league?

AW: Good competitive cricket of international standard and a lot of fun for the spectators and viewers.

Definitely by the end of the tournament, high performing and young cricketers will come into the limelight with good prospects of playing on the international level.

What impact will KPL have on Kashmir and its various aspects?

AW: Primarily, the KPL will help us project the beautiful land of Kashmir, rich in nature and culture.

Other than that, KPL will give recognition to young local talent by providing them a bigger platform to perform and get known at the national and international levels.

For the people of Kashmir, this tournament will bring a positive and refreshing impact, and will let them showcase their culture and hospitality to the visitors and guests coming from different parts of Pakistan and other countries. Kashmir has great potential of tourism, and KPL will help in promoting that.

After KPL, what will be your strategy for Mirpur Royals till the next edition?

AW: We have outlined our post-tournament plan for the first season. The management will sit together after the tournament to determine a way forward, as far as the players’ development and grooming is concerned.

We would like to provide more exposure to the young local talent in terms of opportunities to play outside Kashmir, and improve their capacity before the second edition.

We would want recognition of our players at all levels of cricket locally as well as internationally.

Your message to the government regarding the promotion of sports in Kashmir?

The slogan of KPL 'Khailo Azadi Se' is the answer to that question. This is a very strong slogan that depicts the difficulties and challenges faced by the people of Kashmir.

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