Monday, July 22, 2024

Zim Afro T10: Player Development Programme might unearth talents like Haris Rauf in Zimbabwe, says Durban Qalandars coach Mansoor Rana

The much-awaited Zim Afro T10, which commences in less than two weeks, might help unearth new talented players and help develop Zimbabwean cricket through their player development programmes, says the coach of one of the five privately-owned teams.

The teams are currently busy preparing for what is expected to be a carnival of cricket in Zimbabwe.

“This tournament, the Zim Afro T10, will teach the players new things and the youngsters can derive inspiration from the established players and it will eventually benefit them,” said Durban Qalandars coach Mansoor Rana.

Ahead of the Zim Afro T10, the Durban Qalandars, who are one of the five teams in the tournament, announced Zimbabwean cricketer Craig Ervine as the captain, and Rana believes that it is a big advantage for the team.

The Durban Qalandars have in their side Pakistani power hitter Asif Ali as well, and the coach expects him to play a significant role in the tournament.

“Craig Ervine is a very seasoned cricketer from Zimbabwe and he knows the local conditions and players well. And I am sure his experience and knowledge will be extremely helpful. We wanted him to be our captain,” the coach said during a virtual press conference.

T10, the shortest format of the game is catching up with fans at a rapid pace, and Rana, the former Pakistan cricketer, noted that the Zim Afro T10 will be a shot in the arm for the Zimbabwean cricketing family.

“If you look at the countries which have started their franchise leagues, we have seen a lot of improvement, and new players have come through as well. This will be a great opportunity for Zimbabwean players as they will be sharing the dressing room with international players and they can learn from that. I have seen a lot of enthusiasm about the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 since I arrived here,” the coach said.

While the Durban Qalandars, are understandably keen to make a big mark in the Zim Afro T10’s inaugural edition, the team is also part of a set-up that is focussing on grassroots development in Zimbabwe, with the Player Development Programme, from where Emerging Players will be drafted into the squads.

Durban Qalandars are part of the Qalandars family, who also own the team Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, and Rana believes that the programme is ideal to help unearth some of the best young talent in the system.

“We really believe that there are always talented players, who may not get the correct opportunities as some others, and through this development programme, we hope to provide them with a platform. The reason behind this programme is that we hope that maybe someone can go on to become a big player like Haris Rauf in the future. The programme has been received well here in Zimbabwe and there is a lot of excitement among the players in the country,” the coach said.

“We have been very successful in Pakistan with such a programme and the plan is that we will invite the best players from this programme to the Lahore Qalandars High Performance Centres where they will train for a few months, and hopefully become better cricketers in the future.”

Five from the mix of young players who are part of the Player Development Programme will eventually be drafted into the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10, with each squad picking one player.

“The incentive to play for the franchises in Zim Afro T10 is a big incentive for the players who are part of the Player Development Programme, and that has been reflected in the trials,” he signed off.

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