Pakistan Super League team Lahore Qalandars kicked off its first edition of players development program by selecting 17 players from Gilgit following open trials conducted throughout the day.
Around 5,000 aspiring Qalandars came to Gilgit’s City Sports Park to show their skills to panel of coaches that also included Shoaib Akhtar and Inzamam Ul Haq.
Pakistan Test team’s magical spinner Yasir Shah was also part of the Qalandars selection panel and picked three spinners for Gilgit Qalandars squad.
The trials provided great opportunity to players who grew up watching Inzamam and Akhtar winning matches for country as legends of game passed useful tips to youngsters.
“I started playing cricket watching Shoaib Akhtar, today I bowled in front of him, that’s greatest occasion for me,” said Mohammad Arfan who came from Diamir to appear in trials.
Inzamam Ul Haq said that he was very impressed to see the talent in Gilgit despite the fact that these players don’t have enough opportunities.
“It was heartwarming to see so much potential. I have seen some talented players who have the potential to do good if given proper fine tuning,” said Inzamam.
He also appreciated Lahore Qalandars for the initiative of taking the players development program to Gilgit.
His former teammate Shoaib Akhtar agreed with him and said that players must be provided opportunity to show their skills.
“Fast bowlers here are very good and their fitness level was also impressive. It is so good to see players coming in large number to appear in trials,” said the former speedster.
Qalandars’ chairman Rana Fawad said that the response to trials was overwhelming for him.
“5,000 in Gilgit is equal to 50 thousands in Lahore. I’m happy that we came and provided opportunity to the players here who have now taken a step towards glory,” said Rana Fawad.
Players selected following the trials in Gilgit include Asad Amin, Afaq Afridi, G Rehman, Kaleemullah, Awais Ahmed, M Nadeem, M Mubasher, M Sudaiz, Shoaib, Aswad, Mehroz, Ahsan Ali, Inayat, Asghar Ali, Yawar Bashir, Ikram, M Arfan..