KARACHI: The first phase of Lahore Qalandars’ Rising Stars program concluded on Saturday with another group of 16 aspiring Qalandars being picked from Faisalabad, the last stop for the open trials.
The two-day trial at Iqbal Stadium of Faisalabad saw a turn-out of around 22 thousand aspiring Qalandars who came to show their mettle in different areas of the game.
The coaching panel, headed by former pacer Aqib Javed, picked the 16 players to represent the Faisalabad’s rising stars team in the eight-team rising stars tournament, starting on September 26.
Pakistan’s international player Nauman Anwar is also among the selected Qalandars from Faisalabad as he’s making a comeback after recovering from an injury.
21-year old Nauman has represented Pakistan in one T20I against Zimbabwe in 2015 and was part of Qalandar’s rising stars squad that participated in Emirates T20 tournament earlier this year.
Another player to be retained from previous rising stars program for further development and progress is 22-year-old fast bowler Ehtisham Sultan.
Lahore Qalandars’ CEO Atif Rana was jubilant at the conclusion of the first phase and hoped for a successful second phase of the tournament.
“We received an overwhelming response at every city. In Faisalabad, 39 thousand aspiring Qalandars got themselves registered and of them, 22 thousand appeared in the trials,” Rana told geo.tv
“One thing I can assure you that we didn’t compromise on merit, our coaches did all the hard work to spot talent at the grass-root level and that’s why we have been able to find likes of Haris Rauf and Salman Irshad,” he said.
16 players picked after a two-day trial in Faisalabad are Nauman Anwar, Usaid Amir, Abdullah Faizan, Hassam, Ahmed Sultan, Hassan Sardar, Shafqatullah, Jahanzeb, Afaq Afridi, Nisar Ahmed, Ehtisham Sultan, Mudassar Riaz, Najam Hussain, Arsalan Rasool, Ghulam Rabbani and Rao Danial.