Peshawar Zalmi launches yearly program in KP

Written by The Frontier Post

PESHAWAR (APP): Peshawar Zalmi on Saturday launched a yearly program of cricket promotion at grassroots level besides extending support in developing infrastructure to attract talented youth to come and excel at national and international levels.
This was stated by Director Cricket Development and Coach Muhammad Akram while addressing a press briefing here at PC Hotel.
Skipper Wahab Riaz, wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal, former Test cricketer and world famous off-spin bowler Arshad Khan, bowler Salman Irshad were also present.
He said as desired by the CEO Peshawar Zalmi Javed Afridi, the Peshawar Zalmi is going to have a Peshawar Zalmi Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cricket Cup at U19 level wherein a team of Overseas Pakistanis and a team each of all districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would compete.
He said like last year, this year too Peshawar Zalmi would extend support to more than 100 talented cricketers by providing them complete playing gear (kit-bags) so that they could continue their cricket alongside giving them a monthly stipend as well.
He said three to four cricketers would be part of the Zalmi Senior team so that they could learn more while playing side-by-side with international cricketers. He said the decision was also taken to establish more than 100 cricket pitches in far flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa like last year’s where we established 110 pitches with Net facilities for training and coaching purposes.
Muhammad Akram said that focus has also been given to have cricket playing academies as well but so far the main home ground of the Zalmi that is Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium is actually in process of construction.
He said in 2015 there were just 8 percent cricket activities in KP with young talent but now after Zalmi intervention and starting the program it increased to 27 percent and the talented cricketers spotted in the age of 13 to 14 at that time are now 20-year-old and are playing good cricket in the domestic season.
He said the trials this year would be organized all across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including merged tribal areas and Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in September-August, 2022 wherein talented players would be selected. He said like last year they are expecting 10,000 to 15000 upcoming cricketers to be part of the trials. He said the talented players would be short-listed among them and they would be further groom, coach and facilitated from the Peshawar Zalmi platform.
He said Peshawar Zalmi also decided to have trials in June this year for the overseas Pakistani youngsters in UK, Glasgow, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, United State of America. Soon the Zalmi team of selection would pay a visit to these countries by giving opportunities to the kids of Overseas Pakistani to be part of different teams.
He said there are many Pakistanis living in these countries and those kids have the right to represent Pakistan and Peshawar Zalmi, through a comprehensive program, is going to launch an Overseas Team to play against District teams in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, before short-listing the talented youngsters out of these teams for national and international cricket.
He said two-day open trials, players will be sought for the Overseas Pakistan team, after which there will be a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cricket Championship in which an Overseas team and teams from all the districts of the province will compete.
He said that under the game development program of Peshawar Zalmi, pitches will be made while kits will be given to more than 100 players from U16 to U19 age group. He said, PSL match was promised in Peshawar but the match could not be held because of the under construction two international standard Cricket Stadiums ? Arrbab Niaz Cricket Stadium and Cricket Stadium at Hayatabad sports Complex.
In response to various questions, he said that Darren Sammy is still a part of Peshawar Zalmi. Last season he did not participate in the PSL due to personal commitments. Darren Sammy will be seen again next season.
In another question, Muhammad Akram said that teams in the age group U13, U16, U19, U21 should be established through a wide range of facilities, coaching under qualified coaches would help promoting Pakistan’s cricket overall at the world level.

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