HYDERABAD: Thirty two-year-old first-class cricketer Nauman Ali is quite excited to perform in the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) starting on Feb 14 in Dubai for his team Multan Sultans as well for his home city, Hyderabad.
The fact that three players from Hyderabad would be featuring in the latest edition of PSL is no less an honour for the cricketers of this city. Besides Nauman, the other two are pacer Mohammad Hasnain Qureshi and Ibtisam Shaikh who had played the last PSL for Peshawar Zalmi.
The coaches and families of these three players are also excited about them representing Hyderabad in the celebrated league.
Hasnain would be appearing for Sarfaraz Ahmed led Quetta Gladiators. Last year, the 18-year-old Hasnain Qureshi remained unlucky not to represent Islamabad United due to injury even after being picked by the franchise.
“I am not nervous about competing against international players as I am already playing with Pakistani cricketers for the last several seasons in domestic circuit,” Nauman told Dawn over phone from Dubai.
“But I am indeed excited to perform for my home city and for my team and and hope to stake my claim for the national side,” he said.
Nauman, who plays for one of the oldest cricket clubs of Hyderabad, Ghouri Sports, is the maternal nephew of Rizwan Ahmed, one of the international players Hyderabad has produced.
Nauman — who started cricket from Fazalur Rehman Sports at the age of 16 — was chosen by Multan Sultan for silver category for his performance. He claimed 17 wickets in Quaid-e-Azam Cup One Day 2018-19 to become the second highest wicket taker after PTV’s Mohammad Irfan who grabbed 20. Nauman has been playing for Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) for the last 11 years. He took 43 wickets in Grade-I for KRL and ranked fourth top wicket-taker.
The lanky Hasnain Qureshi, on the other hand, is all set to make his PSL debut from Quetta Gladiators after having missed the chance of playing for Islamabad United in edition of the tournament due to injury in ankle’s ligament. He is a member of Mir Mahmood Cricket Club, Hyderabad.
“Hasnain might have been chosen in place of Shaheen Shah Afridi for Pakistan team had he not suffered from an injury.
“I hope and am confident we will enjoy his bowling in PSL for Quetta Gladiators. It is a huge achievement that he is featuring in this league,” said Mir Suleman Talpur, president Regional Cricket Association (RCA) Hyderabad who is associated with Mir Mehmood Cricket Club along with former RCA president Mir Haider Talpur.
“Hasnain has genuine pace at his age and he has already played for Pakistan under-19 team”.
Hasnain suffered from injury in Grade-II matches but his coach, Iqbal Malik was optimistic that the lad would perform better in his first PSL outing. Malik supervises his training in privately run academy at Khan ground of Mirs. “I spoke to him over phone and he is in high spirits,” said Malik.
Leg break bowler, Ibtisam Shaikh who played the first PSL along with Sharjeel Khan from Hyderabad is also confident to earn a name in the emerging category for Peshawar Zalmi. He got five wickets in four matches for Zalmi. “I have worked hard on variation. It is the variation that matters in T20 events,” Shaikh told Dawn from Dubai.
He said that he had been focussing his game ever since last PSL edition under supervision of his coach Mama Shaukat Baloch at Gulshan e Illahi cricket ground of the city from Baloch cricket club. He spoke of his team-mates and international stars. “All of them like Darren Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Kami [Kamran Akmal] bhai all gave me confidence,” he said.
“I worked hard at the National Cricket Academy under Mushy [Mohammad Mushtaq] bhai’s patronage,” he said.
Ibtisam added that that he had been chosen as guest player by a region as Hyderabad had been relegated to Grade-II four years back. He was picked by Zalmi’s coach when he was in Faisalabad region team in a first-class match against Islamabad when coach, Akram chosen him.