KARACHI: Former winners Northern will do battle with Balochistan in the opening fixture of the National T20 Cup which starts from Thursday at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.
Day one of the 18-match first leg in Rawalpindi will also see the Babar Azam-led Central Punjab taking on defending champions Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who will be skippered by Mohammad Rizwan. Other four teams have Shadab Khan (Northern), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Sohaib Maqsood (Southern Punjab) and Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan) as their captains.
After the abrupt cancellation of the white-ball series between Pakistan and New Zealand, the tournament not only provides ample match practice for the Pakistan T20 World Cup-bound squad members, but also offers fringe cricketers to showcase their potential for induction in the HBL Pakistan Super League 7 Player Draft.
Other than Pakistan captain Babar and Rizwan, the national side’s white-ball vice-captain Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Hafeez are some of the stars who will be action during the Sept 23-Oct 13 extravaganza, the second leg of which commences from Oct 6 at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium where the semi-finals and the final will be staged.
Thursday’s fixtures: Northern vs Balochistan (3:00pm PST); Central Punjab vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (7:30pm PST).
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2021