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Abu Dhabi-leg gives Qalandars best chance of winning HBL PSL 6: Aaqib Javed

Qalandars coach believes Akhtar’s experience of playing in Abu Dhabi in various competitions will give them an edge

Abu Dhabi-leg gives Qalandars best chance of winning HBL PSL 6: Aaqib Javed PHOTO: File

Lahore Qalandars coach Aaqib Javed believes Abu Dhabi-leg gives his franchise the best chance of winning the maiden PSL title as it is the favourite ground of their captain Sohail Akhtar and suits their bowling attack.

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Aaqib said that Akhtar’s experience of playing in Abu Dhabi in various competitions will give them an edge.

“I have high hopes from Sohail. Abu Dhabi is his favourite ground. He was the highest run-getter in T10 competition in Abu Dhabi. He was the best batsman in Abu Dhabi Cup as well. This ground suits his batting. So, I think Qalandars have the best chance till date to win the title in Abu Dhabi conditions,” said Aaqib.

“The return of Rashid Khan is also encouraging. We have Haris [Rauf], Shaheen [Afridi], Dilbar [Hussain] and [Ahmed] Daniyal, who all can touch 150 kph in speed. They also have variations. I don’t think any team in any league has bowlers like that. I think it is a proper international bowling attack,” he added.

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Aaqib also revealed the reason for opting for Akhtar as a captain instead of a high profile name.

“You have to pick the individual who is best for your team as captain. Nine out of the 18 people in our squad started their journey with Qalandars. It includes players like Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen, Dilbar, Haris, Daniyal, Maaz Khan and others. Sohail also started his journey with them, so he knows them inside out and knows how to use their skills and make best use of them,” he said.

“Sohail’s own performance is pretty good. He has maintained an average of 30 and a strike of 130 plus. Sohail Akhtar is a silent operator and his performance often goes unnoticed. Whereas, if Fakhar or Mohammad Hafeez score, it makes the headlines. He is very effective and has performed as a captain. We won the Abu Dhabi Cup under him and also reached the final last year,” he concluded.