Babar, Naseem join Colombo Strikers

Published May 24, 2023
Pakistan captain Babar Azam (R) and his fast-bowling team-mate Naseem Shah (L). — File Photos
Pakistan captain Babar Azam (R) and his fast-bowling team-mate Naseem Shah (L). — File Photos

ISLAMABAD: The Colo­mbo Strikers, who will play their first season of the Lanka Premier League (LPL) this year, announced a star-studded Icon Players line-up on Tuesday.

The Icon Players include Pakistan captain Babar Azam, his fast-bowling team-mate Naseem Shah and Sri Lankan T20 stars Matheesha Pathi­rana and Chamika Karu­naratne. The Colombo fran­­chise in a statement hoped to receive a lot of attention from cricket fans around the world with Babar in their set-up.

Right-armer Naseem will be looking to lead the bowling attack with Pathirana.

Speaking about the annou­ncement of the Icon Players, Sagar Khanna, the owner of the Colombo Strikers expr­essed his delight.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have four of the biggest T20 stars as a part of our Icon Players line-up. We have built a strong core group of players around which we will construct a formidable team for the season. With these superstars with us, we are well on our way to forming a power-packed team.”

The Colombo Strikers will be in action in their first season of the LPL in July-August.

The 20-year-old joins as cover for Afghanistan pace bowler Naveen-ul-Haq, who will remain with Lucknow Super Giants for the Indian Premier League play-offs.

Meanwhile, English county Leicestershire have signed Naseem for the start of the T20 Blast campaign.

Naseem was ever-present for Pakistan as they finished runners-up to England in the T20 World Cup last year.

Leicestershire director of cricket Claude Henderson said Naseem has “proven to be a world-class performer”.

“Having Naveen in the IPL play-offs meant we had to make a quick call and we are extremely excited to have secured someone of Naseem’s calibre,” Henderson told the club website.

Leicestershire start their T20 campaign agai­nst Lancashire Lightning at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2023

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