Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi of Pakhtoons celebrating after claiming a hat-trick last year. Pakhtoons finished runners-up last year losing to Kerala Kings in the final. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Pakhtoons, the runners up of the first edition of the T10 League, are now eyeing for the title in the second edition with astute planning.

Speaking to Gulf News, Tajuddin Khan, the chief executive officer of the Pakhtoons team, said: “We were unfortunate not to win the title last year despite reaching the final. So, for this year, we are making sure not to miss the chance again and planned well picking a good team.”

Tajuddin Khan
Tajuddin Khan, the chief executive officer of the Pakhtoons team Image Credit: Organiser

Last year, this team was led by the legendary Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi. “We have not yet decided who will lead the team in the second edition. Our team management will be meeting soon and name the captain,” said Tajuddin, who revealed that all members of the team will arrive today.

“We have scheduled to have a practice match on Tuesday. Afridi’s presence will be of huge value to the team. His knowledge for this format is tremendous and it helps everyone in the team. He is an inspiration to every member in the team too,” he added.

Tajuddin also lauded his team coach Dean Jones’s contribution. “The team is also blessed to have Jones who has huge experience and his planning has been always perfect. The meetings we plan in the coming days will decide our strategy,” said Tajuddin.

Pakhtoons have picked one of India’s finest left-arm pacer in R.P. Singh. “We are happy at having got Singh who has experience and the pace. He will be of great help to other bowlers in the team too. England all-rounder and left-arm pacer David Willey will also be very useful. We have a good bowling attack and is backed by a good batting line up,” he added.

Tajuddin revealed that New Zealand’s star player Colin Munro will not be available: “We will miss the service of Munro as he is committed to play in a New Zealand domestic league and since he won’t be able to be part of the team early, we picked a very promising hard hitter in Shafiqullah Shafiq from Afghanistan. Our planning has been in such a way that we need bowlers who can bowl well their quota of overs and batsmen who can go for the runs right away.”

Pakhtoons have also picked UAE’s Mohammad Kaleem and Shair Wali. “We have picked a batsman in Kaleem and bowler in Wali from the talent hunt programme and they are expected to be very useful.”

Pakhtoons are expecting huge crowd support during the league at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, especially from Afghanistan and Pakistan fans. “Pakhtoons is a community spread over Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are over 18 million Pakhtoons,” said Tajuddin, who believes that the majority of the fans at the Sharjah Stadium will be from Afghanistan and Pakistan.