KARACHI: Continuing the mission of unearthing new talent for Pakistan, the PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars has found yet another talent with potential to represent Pakistan in future.
Fast bowler Haris Rauf was spotted during open trials for Lahore Qalandars’ Rising Stars program. He has cleared the first stage and is now included in Gujranwala’s Rising Stars team.
22-year-old right-arm fast bowler Haris bowled at a 92mph-speed, which is something that Pakistan cricket has been looking for.
Lahore Qalandars CEO Rana Atif is jubilant over the find. The franchise will do everything to make sure that Haris is transformed into a proper performer for Pakistan, he said.
“Our job doesn’t end at finding him; the real job for us now is to transform him. We have different avenues where we will send him for training to prepare him,” Atif told Geo.tv.
“We have an upcoming tournament in Australia where Lahore Qalandars’ Rising Star teams will participate,” Atif said. “We also have opportunities at Emirates T20 and Global T20 League and MCC training program.”
He said that there are several options to develop the rising stars and transform them into real performers.
Atif also hinted at the possibility of Lahore Qalandars signing Haris Rauf for a ten-year contract.
The franchise earlier spotted Sohail Irshad in Azad Kashmir during the second edition of the Rising Stars program. Sohail’s average bowling speed was 144kmph, slightly below Haris’ average bowling speed.
“When you start finding talent with honesty and merit it shows, you find out that Pakistan has no dearth of talent,” Atif said. “This is our small platform for finding new talent.”
“We’ll produce new Shoaibs, Aqibs, and Wasims from Pakistan,” he added.
Meanwhile, another 7,000 aspiring Qalandars appeared for the trials at the second day of Rising Stars trials in Gujranwala, taking the total footfall around 23,000 in two days of the trials.
The selection panel picked 16 aspiring Qalandars following the trials. The selected players will represent Gujranwala Rising Stars in a Lahore Qalandars tournament later this month.
The selected sixteen players include Muhammad Imran Dogar, M Tabrayz, Ali Malik, Usman Gujjar, Ahad Raza, Haseeb, Zeeshan Farooq, Asim Ali, Haris Rauf, Mahindar Pal Singh, Muhamad Zahid, Sanwal Parvez, Asadullah, Saqib Ali, Adil Sharif and Muhammad Ahmed.
The Rising Stars trials team will now move to Faisalabad to select the final team September 22 and 23.