KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday formally launched the Sindh Premier League (SPL) by playing on the bowling of national cricketer Sarfraz Ahmed.

Speaking at the launching ceremony at the CM House, he said that a new cricket league was aimed at empowering the youth of the province by providing them with an opportunity to showcase their cricketing skills.

The launch ceremony was attended by dignitaries from various walks of life, including the provincial ministers Sharjeel Inam Memon and Saeed Ghani, Advisor Law Barrister Murtaza Murtaza Wahab, and former captain of Pakistan cricket team Sarfraz Ahmed and various others.

The SPL provides a platform for young cricketers in Sindh to showcase their talent and hone their skills, with the aim of producing world-class cricketers from the province. The league will consist of six teams: Benazirabad Lals, Hyderabad Bahadurs, Karachi Ghazis, Larkana Challengers, Mirpurkhas Tigers, and Sukkur Patriots.

During the ceremony, SPL President Arif Malik highlighted that SPL had a dedicated Player Development Programme specifically focused on developing players from interior parts of the province. “Sindh Premier League will be broadcasted in 52 countries and create 10,000 jobs in the coming years,” he added.

In his speech the chief minister highlighted the significance of the SPL for the province’s youth and economic development. He stated, “The Sindh Premier League is not just about sports, but also about promoting the talent and potential of our youth, providing them with opportunities to excel, and showcasing the best of what Sindh has to offer. It is also a platform for economic development, job creation, and tourism promotion in our province.”

Information Minister Sharjeel Memon expressed his full support and assured that the provincial government would fully support and take ownership of the league to promote the untapped talent of the province.

Barrister Murtaza Wahab reiterated the commitment of the Government of Sindh towards encouraging positive initiatives like SPL in uplifting the youth of Sindh through such sporting events that will go global and attract millions of eyeballs.

The brand ambassador of SPL, Shahid Afridi, expressed his full support for the league and its mission. “I am honored to be the brand ambassador of the Sindh Premier League, which is very close to my heart. I believe that the SPL has the potential to produce world-class cricketers from Sindh, and I look forward to supporting the league in achieving its goals,” he added.

Ambassador Sindh Premier League UK & Europe Faisal Saleem Khan presented the roadmap of the player development programme of SPL which will take cricketers from interior Sindh to the International Cricket Academies in England. He said that MOUs with the top-notch cricket academies of Europe, including England, had already been signed.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023

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