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Lahore Qalandars will ‘defend PSL title under Shaheen’s leadership’

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Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars is hopeful of retaining the title under star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi’s leadership in the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) — scheduled to begin on February 13, 2023.

Lahore Qalandars Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sameen Rana, while speaking to Geo News, said that their captain is completely fit to play in PSL 8. 

“Shaheen is bowling for the national team these days and is in rhythm.”

The pacer suffered a knee injury that during the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. He returned to the field during the T20 World Cup but sustained another injury during the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The pacer has not played since then. 

The COO said that Lahore Qalandars is not under pressure as the team is a champion and because it has seen bad times in the past as well. 

“We are the champions and we will try to defend the title. We want to become the first team to defend the PSL title,” he added. 

Talking about the squad, Rana said that he is satisfied with the combination of the team. He said that he has tried to make the best team by keeping a balance in it. “Bowling is our strength and the batters are world-class. 

Right-handed English batsman Samit Patel has been replaced by Liam Dawson while Mohammad Hafeez has been replaced by Sikandar Raza, he added. 

Speaking about the newly-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi, Rana said that the PSL will achieve more success under his leadership. 

“Najam Sethi launched the PSL under difficult circumstances and PSL needs an administrator like him,” he added. 

‘Eager to make a comeback’

Last week, Shaheen said he is eyeing a comeback with next month’s PSL as he is set to return in full action with his rehabilitation in the final stages.

“I am feeling much stronger than what I felt during the World Cup. I’m bowling with full rhythm and eager to make a comeback very soon,” Shaheen told Geo News

The young fast bowler has set his eyes on the PSL’s eighth season, as he will be leading Lahore Qalandars and aiming to defend the title.

“We are a very good side and I am confident that we’ll produce better results than before. I am very happy with the team, as we have overcome where we lacked last year and I believe that Qalandars are stronger this time,” the cricketer said.

“The PSL is the biggest brand for Pakistan and I am looking forward to making my full comeback during that tournament,” the fast bowler said.

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A petition has been filed criticizing the cricket team’s bad performance in the T20 World Cup.

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A lawyer in Gujranwala has submitted a formal request to the court, urging for legal measures to be taken in response to the substandard performance of the national cricket team.

The petition has been lodged in the court of the district and sessions judge, citing sections 22A and 22B of the Pakistan Penal Code. It identifies all individuals involved, including captain Babar Azam, team management, and the coach, as parties.

The petitioner voiced profound apprehension at the underwhelming performance of the national cricket team, deeming it a squandering of funds and a breach of the nation’s confidence. The petition alleges that the team jeopardized millions of rupees and the nation’s integrity, claiming that the players and team management chose financial gain over the honor of the country.

In addition, the petition emphasizes the significant emotional distress experienced by individuals during matches against America and India, considering these performances to be particularly offensive. The user is requesting a suspension of the team until a detailed investigation is carried out by the interior secretary and a comprehensive report is finalized.

The petitioner further condemns the intrusion of political personalities in the team’s matters, contending that whenever political selections are made as coaches and chairmen, it results in the team’s decline.

The court has instructed the police to respond to the petition by June 21.

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Mohammad Rizwan has achieved an undesirable record in the T20 World Cup.

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Pakistan achieved the target of 107 runs with only three wickets lost and 15 balls remaining, thanks to a solid half-century by Rizwan.

The right-handed batsman achieved an undefeated score of 53 runs from an equal number of deliveries, including three boundaries and one six. This is the initial fifty runs scored by a Pakistani batsman in the current tournament.

Nevertheless, Rizwan required 52 deliveries to achieve his fifty runs, making it the most time-consuming half-century in the whole T20 World Cup’s history.

South Africa’s David Miller previously held the record for scoring a half-century in 50 balls against the Netherlands at the same stadium.

Rizwan commenced the batting for Pakistan alongside Saim Ayub (6), but they were unable in providing the Pakistani team with a satisfactory beginning when Ayub lost his wicket in the fifth over, leaving the team with a mere 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Subsequently, Skipper Babar Azam joined Rizwan on the batting crease, and the pair effectively guided the team’s pursuit of runs with a resilient partnership. Babar and his partner contributed 63 runs for the second wicket until Babar was dismissed by Dilon Heyliger in the 15th over.

He achieved a scoring rate of one run per ball, accumulating a total of 33 runs, aided by a single boundary and a six.

Mohammad Rizwan briefly collaborated with Fakhar Zaman, who only managed to score four runs and was out on the second delivery of the 18th over, with the team needing just three more runs to win.

Usman Khan secured victory for Pakistan by elegantly directing the ball towards the midwicket area, resulting in a two-run score.

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Hasan Ali hurts himself while celebrating his legendary “generator.”

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During the celebration of Olly Stones’s dismissal, the fast bowler suffered rib injury.

Ali hurt himself during his trademark celebration, as shown in a video that has gone viral on social media.

Hasan Ali has suffered injuries before as a result of his celebrations; in 2018, while Pakistan was touring Zimbabwe, he hurt his shoulder while engaging in the same celebratory technique.

View: Naseem Shah sheds emotions following India’s defeat

The 29-year-old bowler was left out of Pakistan’s 15-man roster for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 due to injuries and inconsistent results.

Playing for Warwickshire in the T20 Blast 2024, the quick bowler has been heavily involved.

Notwithstanding his injuries, he had an excellent game for Warwickshire against Nottinghamshire, taking two vital wickets that helped the county win.

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