KPL draft set to take place on April 2

The league will be held from May 16 to May 27

KPL draft set to take place on April 2 PHOTO: KPL

The draft of the inaugural season of Kashmir Premier League (KPL) is set to take place on April 2.

While speaking on a local news channel, the President of KPL, Arif Malik, revealed how he came up with the idea to launch a cricket league in Kashmir.

“We basically initiated this idea in the last 3 years. There was one event of paragliding that was taking place in Azad Kashmir so we tossed the idea to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir. For two years, we did our planning and then we got the sanction by the PCB. So finally the idea has been implemented and the activities are happening. We have got 6 teams and all the franchises are sold. Marquee and icon players are picked and now we are very close to reality. On the 2nd of April, we are going to have the draft event which is going to be very exciting,” Malik said.

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KPL will be held from May 16 to May 27 with all the matches taking place at the Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium.

“We are coming up with a complete plan. Stadium’s renovation is going on, floodlights are being installed and this the first LED stadium of Pakistan. The ground is being upgraded and you are going to see a lush green ground. The stadium is surrounded by a valley so we are putting up high definition cameras on the floodlights so you can see the beautiful view,” Malik said.

KPL held their first phase of trials in Mirpur on January 7 under the supervision of Azhar Mahmood and Saeed Ajmal. According to Malik, all teams will have three local players in the playing XI.

“We had 600 kids for the trials that were held in Azad Kashmir. Children came from areas like Neelum, Patikka and from other far-flung areas. The areas from where it is very difficult to travel. This is the talent we have to improve and export to the Pakistani team and the international leagues,” Malik said.

“Wasim Akram is the Vice president and Shahid Afridi is our brand ambassador and we have discussed player development with them as well. We will have three Kashmiri players in the playing XI of each team. When they will share the dressing room with Shahid Afridi, Babar Azam and other stars, it will boost up their confidence,” he concluded.