Peshawar Zalmi Saturday launched a yearly program of cricket promotion at grassroots level besides extending support in developing infrastructure in order to attract talented youth to come and excel at national and international levels.
This was stated by Director Cricket Development and Coach Muhammad Akram while addressing a press briefing here at PC Hotel with stars cricketer and skipper Wahab Riaz, wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal, former Test cricketer and world famous off-spin bowler Arshad Khan, bowler Salman Irshad were also present.
He said as desired by the CEO Peshawar Zalmi Javed Afridi, the Peshawar Zalmi is going to have a Peshawar Zalmi Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cricket Cup at U19 level wherein a team of Overseas Pakistanis and a team each of all districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would compete.
He said like last year, this year too Peshawar Zalmi would extend support to more than 100 talented cricketers by providing them complete playing gear (kit-bags) so that they could continue their cricket alongside giving them a monthly stipend as well.
He said three to four cricketers would be part of the Zalmi Senior team so that they could learn more while playing side-by-side with international cricketers. He said the decision was also taken to establish more than 100 cricket pitches in far flung areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa like last year’s where we established 110 pitches with Net facilities for training and coaching purposes.
Muhammad Akram said that focus has also been given to have cricket playing academies as well but so far the main home ground of the Zalmi that is Arbab Niaz Cricket Stadium is actually in process of construction. He said in 2015 there were just 8 percent cricket activities in KP with young talent but now after Zalmi intervention and starting the program it increased to 27 percent and the talented cricketers spotted in the age of 13 to 14 at that time are now 20-year-old and are playing good cricket in the domestic season.
He said the trials this year would be organized all across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including merged tribal areas and Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in September-August, 2022 wherein talented players would be selected. He said like last year they are expecting 10,000 to 15000 upcoming cricketers to be part of the trials.—APP