Zalmi will deliver in PSL 9, says Mohammad Akram

By our correspondent
LAHORE: Peshawar Zalmi’s Director Cricket Mohammad Akram on Wednesday said that they have constituted a solid squad which is a nice blend of youth and experience and he is optimistic that his brigade will deliver in the PSL 9 which will explode into action here at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on February 17.

“The way we try every year to select the best possible squad and this year too we have tried our best and have constituted a good squad. We are positive. Our squad is a blend of youth and experience.

We played in the playoffs in the last eight years and we played four finals. This year too we hope to deliver,” Akram told reporters here on the sideline of Zalmi’s training session at the LCCA Ground.

“All teams are good and obviously on a given day the team which performs obviously wins and we will try our best,” said Akram, also a former test pacer.

Asked that Zalmi’s bowling this time looks a bit weak Akram said that every year they constitute a solid bowling unit.

“It could be your opinion but I think our bowling line-up is very good. It has a good mix of both local and foreign crop. You will also see Luke Wood, Naveen-ul-Haq, Shamar Joseph and Mohammad Waqar Salamkheil. In the locals we have good youngsters and you will see a good mix,” Akram said.

“We wanted to get more matches in that venue where our fan-following is good and it’s our right. Since long the people of Peshawar are waiting for cricket at their home. We had requested the authorities that they should give us matches at Peshawar and if it is not possible then they should be given more matches in Pindi. We operate buses there from Peshawar every year. We also have a solid fan-base at Karachi and there is only one game we will play. It would have been good had we got more matches at Karachi. They have done their best but could not do,” Akram said when asked about their reservations about venues.

Asked about the expected opening pair of Zalmi in the event Akram said that they would do mix and match when they would be joined by their overseas stuff and when all coaching staff will also assemble.

“Then we will finalise the things,” Akram said.

“But its good that all four, who can open, have no objection about whether they open the game or play at No3 and No4 and its good,” Akram said.

“Yes they are young and if you have such youngsters in the team who can adapt and it makes the things easier,” he was quick to add.

Asked that Babar expects a lot from Mohammad Haris this time Akram said that it is expected that a player who has played cricket for a few years gets experience and gains maturity.

“And I think Babar would be thinking like this that he is now mature and would have learnt the things and we are working on these things,” he said.

“We have Mohammad Yousuf with us working on these things. The basic reason of his induction is that youngsters could learn from him how to build innings and how to finish the match,” he said.

“We have good youth this year and we have inducted Yousuf and from tomorrow you will also see Umar Gul and he will work with them. I have learnt during the last eight years that youngsters face language barrier as they don’t understand English and if we induct local coaches with massive experience so it will help them learn. And that is the main reason why we have called Yousuf and Umar Gul to work with them,” he elaborated.

“Babar is skipper and they don’t have any objection whether he opens the innings or plays at No3. He had done well last time for us as an opener and his pair with Saim Ayub was useful and if he himself opens the innings it will be very good for the team,” Akram said.

Zalmi, the PSL-2 champions, will open their PSL 9 journey with their game against Quetta Gladiators on Sunday here at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

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