The Player Draft for the Pakistan Cup 2016 was held in Lahore on Tuesday as teams for the premier domestic 50-over tournament were finalised.
15-member squads for Islamabad, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab were finalized after the team captains and coaches participated in the Player Draft.
Led by Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah ul Haq, Islamabad will include Mohammad Sami, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Zafar Gohar and Sharjeel Khan. The team will be coached by Mansoor Rana and Sabih Azhar.
Balochistan will be led by Pakistan ODI skipper Azhar Ali. The team includes Babar Azam, Junaid Khan, Umar Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul and Bilawal Bhatti. Ijaz Ahmed and Taimur Azam will coach the Balochistan side.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be led by star batsman Younus Khan. Encapuslating the true spirit of the Pakistan Cup, Khan’s selection for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa side include promising cricketers Mohammad Asghar, Fakhar Zaman, Musaddiq Ahmed, Zohaib Khan and Faheem Ashraf. Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah will mark a return to competitive cricket as he prepares himself to play for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the domestic One Day tournament. Abdul Rehman and Kabir Khan will coach the KP side.
Sindh will be captained by newly-appointed national T20 skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir was the first pick made by Sarfaraz. The team also includes Sohail Khan, Khalid Latif, Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali and Sami Aslam. Tauseef Ahmed and Iqbal Imam will coach the Sindh team.
Punjab will be led by star all-rounder Shoaib Malik. Malik’s squad includes left-handed opening batsmen Shan Masood and Salman Butt. Mohammad Rizwan, Asad Shafiq, Zulfiqar Babar, Ehsan Adil and Saad Nasim will also play for Punjab in the tournament. The team will be coached by former Pakistan wicket-keeper Atiq uz Zaman and Mautashim Rashid.
Chairman PCB Shaharyar M. Khan, Chairman Executive Committee Najam Sethi, COO PCB Subhan Ahmad and CEO Haier Pakistan Javed Afridi were also present at the occasion.
Speaking about this new initiative, Chairman Shaharyar Khan said: “Our aim is to ensure that our domesic cricket becomes more competitive and the Pakistan Cup 2016 is a key step on this journey. Top cricketers of Pakistan will take part in this tournament and the youngsters will have the perfect opportunity to learn from their seniors.”
The pick order for the Draft was determined through a draw conducted by Chairman Executive Committee Najam Sethi. “After successfully organizing PSL, we need to further improve our domestic cricket. Player remunerations for this tournament have been increased by 100% and introducing the Player Draft in a domestic One Day tournament has generated immense interest from the public,” he stated.
Pakistan Cup 2016 will take place from 19th April to 1st May in Faisalabad.