Zalmi only picked players who were ready to play in Pakistan: Javed Afridi

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Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi said in an exclusive interview with that the franchise had only selected players, overseas included, who were ready to play in Pakistan.

Q: What preparations have been made for PSL-4?

JA: Preparations for PSL 4 are in full swing. Our management is working day and night to bring something completely revolutionary to the cricket fans around the world. As we are the number one franchise in terms of brand value for PSL, the fans are expecting a lot from us and we are working diligently to exceed their expectations. Just like every year, you will see something extraordinary from Peshawar Zalmi.

Q: Are Zalmi’s overseas players agreeing to visit Pakistan?

JA: It brings me great pleasure to say that Zalmi’s overseas players have agreed to visit Pakistan. During the PSL draft, I also mentioned this that we are only picking players which will tour Pakistan for PSL 4 since that is our true achievement. Peshawar Zalmi is the only franchise until now whose whole squad has toured Pakistan and we will replicate this in PSL 4 as well.

Q: Share your views about Misbah’s inclusion in the squad

JA: Misbah-ul-Haq is not only a dynamic cricketer but he is the sort of person who I believe will be the anchor for Peshawar Zalmi. His vast experience and knowledge as two-time PSL winning captain and captaining Pakistan will surely be beneficial for us. We’d want Misbah to not only support us in the cricketing realm but also strategize our different ventures of the Zalmi Foundation of which one of the most fundamental ventures is improving cricket at the grass root level.

Q: Will Zalmi miss Hafeez in the upcoming season?

JA: Mohammad Hafeez has been part of Peshawar Zalmi for the past 3 seasons and surely his absence will be missed. However, we wish him the best of luck on his new journey.

Q: Are you satisfied with the team’s combination this year?

JA: As I’ve mentioned before, I have zero say in the team management decisions. Our Director Cricketing Affairs & Head Coach, Mohammad Akram along with President Zaheer Abbas strategize all of this. Henceforth, I put my full faith in them since their decisions have made us Champions of PSL 2 and Runners-Up of PSL 3. The YellowStorm will be the team to watch out for in PSL 4 as well.

Q: PSL in Pakistan. What is your opinion about the entire league being played in Pakistan?

JA: That is the “dream” and what all of us involved in PSL want to accomplish. PSL without being played in Pakistan has emerged as such a strong entity, just imagine, if the league comes to Pakistan, the magnitude of growth will be immense. Our nation is waiting for this to happen & I hope that the eight matches being played in Pakistan is just another step to accomplish this dream.

Q: How would you differentiate PSL from others league?

JA: PSL is one of the fastest growing leagues in the world. Even though it is played at a neutral venue, but still it has emerged as one of the biggest leagues in the world. If you take a look at the statistics provided by Nielsen, the exponential growth that PSL has accomplished as an International T20 cannot be seen anywhere around the world. And I believe, we are just getting started.

Q: Any message for Zalmi fans?

JA: Peshawar Zalmi is not just a franchise or a sports team. It is a platform for all of our fans to connect and feel themselves being part of a family. I urge the Zalmi family to support Peshawar Zalmi in this new journey of PSL 4 we are about to start and pray that we go an extra mile this time and bring the trophy home.