Peshawar Zalmi team confident to retain crown next year

KARACHI (Monitoring Desk): The management of Pakistan Super League (PSL) team Peshwar Zalmi, the defending champion of the series, is confident that the team will retain the PSL crown next year.

“I am very confident of retaining the PSL crown next year. The team composition is decent and we have played to our strength in the draft.”

Following the PSL3 draft on Sunday, he said that his squad is comprised of some of the best T20 players.

“We have selected players who have the much-needed experience that is required to thrive in the T20 format and that is the reason I feel our chances of winning the event for the second time are clear as day,” he remarked.

He also said that his team achieved what it was hoping for.

“All the players selected in the PSL draft are seasoned campaigners. With their experience in the format, I can only see us excelling. Exciting times ahead of us and I am very confident to put up a good show next season,” he said.

He, however, said that Zalmi wanted to pick Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan but due to his international commitments with Afghanistan, it wasn’t possible to get him on board for this edition.

“We know how dangerous he [Khan] can be and there is no doubt about the abilities he possesses. We would love to have him in our squad in the future editions,” Afridi said.

Afridi hailed Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh and termed him a ‘fantastic opening batsman.’

“Every franchise had to release a set number of players as per PSL’s policy due to the addition of the sixth franchise. We were always going to pick him [Iqbal] in the draft and I am confident that he will prove his worth once again,” he said.

He also added that the franchise will also miss the presence of Shahid Afridi, who had previously played an important role in the squad.

The squad’s chairman also praised Hammad Azam and said that he is a ‘very fine all-rounder’ and had delivered some ‘very significant performances’ for Pakistan.

“We believe that the batting all-rounder is a very important position in T20 cricket and he [Azam] is a decent fit for that role. We are looking forward to having him play for us in the PSL,” Afridi said.

PESHAWAR ZALMI squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal, Shakib Al Hassan, Darren Sammy, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Asghar, Dwayne Bravo, Tamim Iqbal, Hammad Azam, Saad Nasim, Taimoor Sultan, Sameen Gul, Ibtisam Sheikh, Andre Fletcher, Evin Lewis, Khalid Usman and Mohammad Arif.