Muhammad Akram inaugurates Zalmi T10 Media Cricket Cup

Shahid Khan Afridi

PESHAWAR: Former pacer and Director Peshawar Zalmi Cricket Muhammad Akram Sunday formally inaugurated the first Zalmi T10 Media Cricket Cup-2023 at historical Islamia College Cricket Ground here.

Zalmi Foundation and Peshawar Press Club is jointly organizing the Cup wherein a total of 8 specifically selected teams are taking part. President Peshawar Press Club Arshad Aziz Malik, Senior Journalist Shamim Shahid, General Secretary Irfan Musazai, Peshawar Press Club Sports Committee and other important personalities and a large number of journalists were present.

In the first match Mardan Zalmi team defeated Bannu Zalmi team by nine wickets in the opening match of the T10 Cricket Cup organized in cooperation with Peshawar Zalmi. Mardan Zalmi team captain Yasir Ali won the toss and invited the opposing team to bat first. Qari Zia-ur-Rehman scored 76 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 10 overs and was the outstanding batsman with 38 runs. Iftikhar and Irfan Khan from Mardan dismissed two players. Captain Yasir Ali, who achieved the target and won by nine wickets, played an unbeaten innings of 48 runs and was declared the man of the match.

The second match in the league was played between Kohat Zalmi and Khyber Zalmi. Khyber Zalmi captain Bilal Afridi won the toss and invited Kohat Zalmi to bat first. Kohat scored 104 runs for six wickets in the allotted ten overs. Khyber Zalmi team could only score 91 runs in the allotted ten overs in which captain Bilal Afridi scored the highest 25 runs.

The third match was played between Zalmi Force and Dera Ismail Khan Zalmi in which Dera Ismail Khan Zalmi played first. In the allotted ten overs, they scored 111 runs for the loss of 6 wickets, in which Arslan was prominent by scoring 29 runs.

In response, the Zalmi Force team scored 106 runs in the allotted ten overs, Shah Faisal was outstanding by scoring 37 runs. In the last match, Malakand Zalmi’s team defeated Abbottabad Zalmi by three wickets, Abbottabad won the toss and batted first and scored 102 runs for the loss of two wickets in the allotted overs.

The target of runs was achieved on the second ball of the last over. Captain Zawar scored an unbeaten 57 runs. On this occasion, Director Peshawar Zalmi Mohammad Ikram said that Zalmi for the first time conducted trials for talent hunt across the country where fifteen to twenty thousand children participated and among them 100 talented children were selected who are now part of different teams.

These kids are playing the best cricket, he said, adding soon after PSL 8, trials will be held again across the country, which includes the best pitches, good coaches and welfare work that is being done through the platform of Zalmi Foundation.

He said that like Pakistan, Zalmi Foundation also organized trials and leagues in Europe and UK and from there short-listed children with the best talent. Regarding the performance of Zalmi cricket team in PSL8, he said that they will start with an exhibition match against Quetta and we hope that our team will perform well.

He said that we hope that the next PSL9 matches will be held in Peshawar because recently we visited Hayatabad Cricket Stadium and Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium and we were told that both the stadiums will be ready by June.

For the last eight years, we wanted to play matches in Peshawar because there are a lot of Zalmi supporters and we want our supporters to see us in their own and home grounds. He said a request has been made by CEO Peshawar Zalmi to the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to complete the two Stadiums – Hayatabad Cricket Stadium and Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium so that international matches could be brought back to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said that Babar Azam is a world class player, his fan following is all over the world and he has earned a great name for Pakistan. “That is very important to bring journalists into the field of sports and this is the reason why for them Zalmi like other projects got the lead by holding T10 Peshawar Zalmi Media Cricket Cup.