Qalandars reach Gujranwala in quest for cricketing talent | Sports

KARACHI: Lahore Qalandars’ hunt to find aspiring Qalandars continued on Tuesday with trials for the Rising Stars program commencing at its 7th stop, Gujranwala.

Cricketers of all-levels, from Gujranwala and outskirts, gathered at Jinnah Stadium since morning to show their talent to Qalandars’ panel of coaches, led by Aaqib Javed.

According to officials, more than 16 thousand players appeared on the day one of Rising Stars trials in Gujranwala, some of them were shortlisted for another phase of trials on Wednesday.

“The response to our call in Gujranwala was amazing, it was a massive turn-out at the Jinnah Stadium, which was beyond what we expected,” said CEO of PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars.

“Over 16,000 players came, aiming to become Qalandars, some came from outside of Gujranwala and even from other countries to attend the trials.”

One player, Bilal, told the organisers that he came all the way from Kuwait to participate in trials.

The large number of participants at Gujranwala also saw incidents of gate crashing as players were eager to appear at nets for the trials.

“We have spotted some outstanding talent, in batting and bowling,” said Aqib Javed, Qalandars’ director of cricket.

“Our coaches will have another look at them and other players before making a final team of 16 for the Rising Stars tournament,” he said.

The 26-member coaching panel has already finalised Qalandars’ Rising Stars teams in Azad Kashmir, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Layyah, Bahawalpur and Lahore. After on-going trials in Gujranwala, they will head to their last stop, Faisalabad.

The teams picked from 8 different venues will participate in the tournament later this month, 16 best of the tournament will form a team which will head to Australia in October.

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