LAHORE                  -             Lahore Qalandars owner Atif Rana has said that the well-balanced squad and players’ eagerness to excel will help the team produce better results in Pakistan Superb League (PSL) 2020.

In an interview with The Nation here on Sunday, Atif said: “For PSL-5, we have the services of top international, national and emerging players, who want to give out their best performances throughout the fifth edition of the league and keen to help their side win the glittering PSL trophy.

“As far as international players are concerned, we have the services of top foreign players like David Wiese, Chris Lynn, Samit Patel, Ben Dunk, Seekkuge Prassana. Sohail Akhtar has been named the captain of the side while Farzan Raja, Mujahid Ali and Mohammad Faizan are the young and emerging players, who will surely impress the Qalandars fans with their outstanding performances.

We have retained Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez in the highest category while Shaheen Shah Afridi is retained in Diamond category while Haris Rauf and Sohail Akhtar are our gold picks. Salman Butt makes it the eighth retained players in Qalandars squad, which is keen to deliver in the fifth edition of the PSL,” he added.

Pakistan will host the entire PSL-5 matches. On this,  Atif said: “It is a dream come true not only for us but also for the entire nation. The credit goes to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani for implementing PM Imran Khan’s vision in true letter and spirit and it is also due to the PCB chief's commitment towards betterment of Pakistan cricket, which will benefit it in the long run.

“Our players are very excited to play PSL-5 matches at home soil in front of local crowd, which is very peaceful and cricket-loving and keen to see local and international players in action at home grounds. Hopefully, the PSL-5 matches will be jam-packed and every team will have the best support from the huge crowd, which will make the league more colourful.

“I also want to convey a message to international cricket fraternity to come and witness challenging and exciting PSL matches in Pakistan and also enjoy love, care and respect of Pakistanis, who are well-known for the best hospitality,” he added. 

Atif said that cricket is the main business of Lahore Qalandars and every year, they have been improving their product, which is quality cricketers. "Our players are excelling everywhere there go and play. Haris Rauf is the latest example, who is impressing the world with his fine fast bowling especially in Australia during the Big Bash League. Hopefully, Haris along with other Qalandars players will give out their best during PSL-5 and play crucial roles in their team’s triumphs.”

About their talent-hunt programme, the Qalandars owner said: “For the last several years, our talent-hunt programmes have been providing us the best talent, which the country possesses immensely and from this year, we have established a ‘High Performance Centre’, with the aim of producing well groomed, educated and trained cricketers. Everything is well-systemized there, which will  transform raw talent into champions."