Foreign players start arriving in Lahore ahead of PJL – Newspaper

KARACHI: As many as 12 foreign players arrived in Lahore on Thursday to take part in the inaugural Pakistan Junior League.

According to a Pakistan Cricket Board statement, eight of these players were from the United Kingdom, three from Afghanistan and one from Sri Lanka.

The local players will also arrive from their respective home towns to Lahore as the six teams start to gather ahead of the tournament, which is scheduled to start on October 6.

“The players that reached Lahore last night and this morning include Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar (Rawalpindi Raiders), Archie Lenham (Mardan Warriors), James Ross Wood (Hyderabad Hunters), Joseph Eckland (Gwadar Sharks), Ibrahim Masood (Hyderabad Hunters), Gabriel Gallman-Findlay (Bahawalpur Royals), George Thomas (Mardan Warriors), Luc Martin Benkenstein (Gwadar Sharks), Shevon Daniel (Gujranwala Giants), Thomas Aspinwall (Gujranwala Giants), Nangeyalia Kharotai (Bahawalpur Royals) and Olly Cox (Mardan Warriors), “ said the PCB press release.

“The players expressed their excitement at playing the PJL in the presence of some of the greats of the game who would be working as mentors during the tournament.”

The mentor roster includes Pakistan legend Javed Miandad (league mentor), South Africa’s Imran Tahir (Bahawalpur Royals), former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik (Gujranwala Giants), West Indies great Sir Vivian Richards (Gwadar Sharks), his compatriot Daren Sammy (Hyderabad Hunters), ex all-rounder Shahid Afridi (Mardan Warriors) and New Zealand’s Colin Munro (Rawalpindi Raiders).

“I am delighted to be here in Lahore for the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Junior League,” Mardan Warriors’ Archie Lenham was quoted as saying.

“There is so much to gain for all our youngsters and I am looking forward to picking the brains of Shahid Afridi who is our team mentor.

“Imran Tahir is another mentor I would be interested to talk to as he is also a wonderful leg-spinner and I want to develop that skill of mine.”

The teams will practice for four days leading up to the tournament opener between Gujranwala Giants and Mardan Warriors which will be played next Thursday.

The 19-match tournament will be played on a single league basis with the six teams competing against each other once. The top four sides will compete in the playoffs, the final will be played on October 21.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022

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