The six Cricket Association Second XI sides will feature in the opening event of the 2021-22 domestic season with the Cricket Associations T20 Tournament beginning on Wednesday.
The single-league tournament will be played at the Bugti Stadium in Quetta from 15 to 22 September. Two matches will be played on each day other than the final day of the tournament. The first match will start at 0930 while the second match will begin at 1330.
The eight-day tournament will provide a perfect opportunity to budding youngsters to showcase their talent and get a chance to feature in the forthcoming National T20 Cup (First XI) to be played in Multan and Lahore from 25 September to 13 October.
Another incentive for cricketers who have domestic contracts is the increase of PKR 100,000 in monthly retainers. The announcement was made by recently elected Chairman PCB Ramiz Raja in a press conference in Lahore on Monday.
Central Punjab who won the Cricket Associations T20 last year will be looking to defend the title under Saif Badar when they take on Faraz Ali’s Sindh on the opening day.
The captains of the participating teams while talking exclusively to pcb.com.pk expressed their delight over Chairman PCB’s monthly retainer increase announcement and talked about their preparations and combinations ahead of the tournament.
Jalat Khan, Balochistan 2nd XI: “We had good practice sessions before the tournament. Our squad is balanced with good utility players in the side, but we will rely on our bowlers to restrict the opposing teams to help us do well in the tournament.
“Chairman PCB’s announcement for increase in monthly-retainers for cricketers with domestic contracts will create a good healthy competition among the players to do well.”
Saif Badar, Central Punjab 2nd XI: “The incentive announced by the Chairman PCB is really great for us, this will help us stay motivated and become more focused towards the game. The preparations for the tournament is really good, the players have worked really hard in the practice sessions and we are looking to play fearless game and defend our title.
“Our combination is good, covering all bases of batting and bowling departments. We have three all-rounders in our team which are very vital for us in the T20 format.”
Zohaib Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2nd XI: “The increase in monthly-retainers announced for cricketers with domestic contracts will help players to work more on their fitness to compete at the international level.
“The players at our region play attacking cricket so we are looking forward to play our brand of cricket and win this tournament.
“Our combination for the tournament is good with mixture of senior and young players in the squad. We have some young players who will be playing for the first time in this tournament and they have showed some great skill work in the camp.”
Umair Masood, Northern 2nd XI: “The players had good practice sessions in the camp organised before the start of the season. We have a young squad as compared to other teams in the tournament and the players are really excited to perform to their best.”
Faraz Ali, Sindh 2nd XI: “The increase in retainership is a pleasant surprise for us before the start of the season. It will motivate the players to do well and they will grab this opportunity with both hands.
“We have been working hard in the pre-season camp especially in the T20 format to get ourselves ready in time for the T20 tournament.”
Umar Siddique, Southern Punjab 2nd XI: “The increase in monthly-retainers is quite satisfying for the players to go out and express themselves in the ground. The preparation for the tournament is good, we had played some practice games in our pre-season camp and the players are eager to perform when the tournament resumes.”
The squads and event schedule:
Balochistan 2nd XI – Jalat Khan (captain), Awais Zia, Abdul Hanan, Abdul Nasir, Aftab Ahmed, Fahad Hussain, Fahad Iqbal, Gohar Faiz, Gulraiz Sadaf (WK), Hidayat Ullah (WK), M. Ibrahim Snr, M.Junaid, Mohammad Shahid, Najeeb Ullah Achakzai, Syed Zainullah and Taj Wali
Central Punjab 2nd XI – Saif Badar (captain), Ahmed Abdullah Safi, Ali Shan, Asad Ali Jnr, Gohar Hafeez, Haseeb Ur Rehman, Junaid Ali, Kamran Afzal, M Faizan, M Irfan Jnr, Mudassar Riaz, Muhammad Imran Dogar, Muhammad Tabriaz Butt, Nisar Ahmed, Sohaib Ullah and Umar Akmal
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 2nd XI – Zohaib Khan (captain), Abbas Afridi, Ahmed Jamal, Aitizaz Habib, Amir Azmat, Maaz Khan, Mishal Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Nabi Gul, Niaz Khan, Sajjad Ali, Saqib Jamil, Syed Arif Shah, Tahir Khan and Yasir Khan
Northern 2nd XI – Umair Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Ali Imran, Aqib Liaqat, Asad Raza, Ather Mehmood, Mubasir Khan, Munir Riaz, Nasir Nawaz, Raza Hassan, Sadaqat Ali, Salman Irshad, Sarmad Bhatti, Taimoor Sultan, Zaman Khan and Zeeshan Malik
Sindh 2nd XI – Faraz Ali (captain), Ammad Alam, Arish Ali Khan, Asif Mehmood, Ghulam Mudassir, Imtiaz Laghari, Jahanzaib Sultan, Mohammad Afzal (WK), Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Umar, Rameez Aziz, Saad Khan, Saim Ayub, Shahid Meerani, Umair bin Yousuf (VC) and Usman Khan
Southern Punjab 2nd XI – Umar Siddique (captain), Ahsan Baig, Ali Majid, Ali Shafique, Dilbar Hussain, Hassan Khan, Humayun Altaf, Kaleem Ullah, M Shahryar, M Sudais, Moinuddin, Mukhtar Ahmed, Shahroon Siraj, Tayyab Tahir, Umar Khan and Yousuf Babar
Cricket Associations T20 schedule (all matches at Bugti Stadium in Quetta):
15 Sep – Balochistan v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Central Punjab v Sindh
16 Sep – Northern v Southern Punjab; Balochistan v Sindh
17 Sep – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Southern Punjab; Balochistan v Central Punjab
18 Sep – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Sindh; Central Punjab v Southern Punjab
19 Sep – Northern v Sindh; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Central Punjab
20 Sep – Balochistan v Northern; Sindh v Southern Punjab
21 Sep – Northern v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Balochistan v Southern Punjab
22 Sep – Northern v Central Punjab