PSL 7: Atif Rana, Aaqib Javed confident Shaheen Afridi will change Lahore Qalandars’ fate in PSL 2022

Bol News  |  Jan 20, 2022

PSL 7: Atif Rana, the chief executive of the Lahore Qalandars, and Aaqib Javed, the head coach, have great expectations for Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has been promoted to captaincy for the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) seventh edition 2022.

In an interview, the duo stated that Shaheen has matured significantly over the previous two years and that he is an ‘inborn’ leader.

“Qalandars trained Shaheen for last two years for this role, he was the vice-captain and now it’s a dream come for us as a franchise that a youngster will be leading,” Atif said.

“Shaheen has an inborn leadership talent and as a player, he has established himself as one of the greatest bowlers currently in international cricket,” Aaqib praised.

Aaqib stated that no PSL 2022 franchise has a pacer like Shaheen in their ranks, as well as the possibility of Shaheen being named captain.

“Shaheen is leading with performances. He bowls at the front and if you access all teams, no one has a bowler as classy as Shaheen. Batters look to score but while facing Shaheen, they look to save themselves from getting out.” Aaqib said.

“Captain needs few things which are important for captaincy. Own performances, honesty and decision making, not thinking of who is senior but have the capability of enforcing decisions. We saw all these things in him,” he added.

In the PSL 6, the Qalandars have only made it to one final. Atif Rana defends Aaqib by claiming that a coach is not to blame for losses and that prior captains are to blame for the Qalandars’ fans not winning a single title.

“When Aaqib select squad, everyone praises. Cricket is a game where the captain has command inside the ground. Aaqib’s role is to develop players and he has given Shaheen and Haris to Pakistan,” Atif said.

“Captains in the past had to win us a trophy and now the onus is on Shaheen to achieve this,” he added.

Meanwhile, Atif discussed HBL PSL’s new financial model, saying that all franchises want to make the competition more intense.

“We [franchises] don’t want money out of the financial model, we want this league to become number one in the world. We were urging PCB for quite some time to rectify these challenges and a new model has been created which is good,” he further added.

Qalandars’ Players Development Program (PDP) was also discussed by the duo. Following collaborations in Australia and England, Aqib revealed that they are also in talks for a deal in South Africa.

“We identify players, train them, send them to play in different environments where they can learn,” Aaqib said.

“A player sent to Melbourne Stars based on Aqib’s recommendation can be wrong. They trust us they know players go through a complete process whilst we send them,” Atif said.

In comparison to prior years, Aaqib is optimistic that this year will be different for Qalandars.

“Last year, we started well in Karachi but our combination deteriorated after the event was postponed and moved to UAE. This year we will look to play well.”

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