KARACHI: Javed Afridi, the owner of PSL team Peshawar Zalmi is confident that his team will successfully defend the title by putting up a great show in the third edition of Pakistan Super League.
Talking to Geo.tv ahead of Zalmi’s departure to Dubai for the action packed PSL matches, Afridi said that Zalmi squad has a blend of talented youngsters and experienced players who can make Zalmi victorious, once again.
“I am pretty much satisfied by our preparations as a unit. In Mohammad Akram, Zaheer Abbas and Younis Khan, we have some of the most intelligent brains in the game. The squad is very strong as well. We have a proper mix of good batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders. I am confident of putting up a great show in this edition as well,” he said.
“PSL is something that unites our nation. We are looking forward to some thrilling matches in the competition this time around as well,” Afridi added.
Zalmi had made some changes from the team that won the 2nd edition of Pakistan Super League and the biggest name to move out of Zalmi’s clan is Shahid Afridi, but Javed feels that the squad has players who can fill the vacuum.
“Shahid, no doubt, is a match-winner on his day. His contributions towards Pakistan cricket and for Peshawar Zalmi are admirable. He was an integral part of our winning campaign last season,” he said about the former captain and flamboyant all-rounder who is now a part of Karachi Kings camp.
“The only constant is change. We have moved on and are a better side this season. We have players in our squad who can make up for the vacuum he has left and we are confident of defending our title,” said the owner of Peshawar Zalmi.
Talking about Zalmi’s squad, Afridi said that everyone in the team is a top professional and has the ability to win matches for the team which makes Peshawar Zalmi a strong outfit.
“The likes of Daren Sammy, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz are a pivotal part of our unit. The new signings Liam Dawson, Dwayne Smith, Hammad Azam and Saad Nasim have a lot of potential as well and can add to the team composition,” he said.
He was also full of praise for Zalmi’s captain Darren Sammy and said that his presence in Zalmi’s camp is a source of motivation for all his colleagues.
“Daren is one of the most inspirational players in world cricket right now. He is a brilliant player. His efforts in winning West Indies two World T20 titles are for everyone to see,” he said.
“He is someone a lot of youngsters look up to in his day and age. His presence in the dressing room is a source of great motivation for his colleagues. There is never a dull moment when he is around,” Afridi mentioned.
Talking about Hasan Ali who was picked as an emerging talent by Peshawar Zalmi in 2016 and now has become the top bowler, the franchise owner said that Hassan’s transformation to a top bowler in the span of just 14 months is commendable.
“Hasan Ali is a prime example of talent transforming itself into a world beater and has the potential of achieving greater things in life. He has a big role to play for us in the upcoming edition. Other than that, we have Mohammad Ashgar, who is a fine young talent and made his name last time around,” he highlighted.
Replying to a query, Afridi said that he is hopeful that foreign-based players of Zalmi will surely visit Pakistan if his team qualifies for the knock-out stage. He, once again, reiterated his request to honor players who visited Pakistan last year for PSL 2 final with a national honor.