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Rana Naved confident of defending the Faysal Bank T20 title

Ahead of Sialkot's opening game of the tournament against Islamabad Leopards, spoke to the former Pakistan all rounder, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan about the tournament and the preparations for the defence of their title. Read this exclusive interview with the Pakistan all-rounder to get an exclusive insight ahead of the Faysal Bank T20 Tournament.



By Amir Husain (1st December, 2012)



The 9th edition of the Faysal Bank T20 cup is now underway with matches being held at 3 venues in Lahore. The Tournament will be held between December 1st to 9th and will involve 14 teams vying for the Rs 2 million prize for the winner of this trophy. 

With the Pakistan T20 League slated to take over as the highest rated domestic tournament for the T20 format, the Sialkot Stallions will be defending their title for possibly the last time. With each team playing six group games, the competition is expected to be intense with the selection for the upcoming tours of India and South Africa foremost in the minds of participating players.

With a line up featuring some top names such as captain Shoaib Malik, Imran Nazir, Raza Hasan and Rana Naved as well as impressive youngsters like Ali Khan and Haris Sohail, the Sialkot Stallions are expected to put in a robust defence of their title. 

Ahead of Sialkot's opening game of the tournament against Islamabad Leopards, spoke to the former Pakistan all rounder, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan about the tournament and the preparations for the defence of their title.


Views on the Format of the tournament and whether its conducive for good quality cricket

Its an excellent format and due to the number of games to be played, it allows players ample chances to impress selectors for the tour of India which is important for Pakistan. This is the shorter form of limited overs cricket and therefore a challenge to put in good performances but its an exciting form of the game this should be an excellent tournament.

The choice of Venues and expected public interest

All three are excellent venues and I am sure that the PCB have chosen these after careful consideration. As far as my team Sialkot Stallions is concerned, we will put in our best efforts regardless of where we play. 

In terms of audiences for these games, I am expecting a lot of interest as this is a major tournament in Lahore and it's a popular format in Pakistan. People are generally quite excited about this tournament in Pakistan – I am hoping that people will attend these games and cheer their favourite teams as well as appreciate the effort by all teams.

Main Rivals and preparations for this tournament especially given the tag of previous champions

It’s difficult to pinpoint one team that we are worried about facing – fact is that in the T20 format it’s the team that plays well on the day that will win. All I can say is that our team, Sialkot Stallions, is one of the best teams – we have recently come back after participating in the Champions League in South Africa so we have a good combination of players and our confidence is high.

We intend to keep this momentum going in this tournament. We played well in South Africa and our players have also played well in the recently concluded First Class season so the confidence is high and there are no real worries.

There really is no extra pressure on us as previous winners of this trophy. We will continue to play to the best of our ability as we always do. We will play positively and play to win – the rest is not in our hands!

Any specific areas that you have concentrated on ?

In the T20 format, I believe all areas are important – although we have put in extra work on fielding and bowling. Having said that, we have some highly experienced international players and there isn’t any real pressure or area of weakness as such. We will play each game as it comes and play in the best way possible.

Apart from the international players, any other names to watch out for?

All players are doing well – we are champions for a reason and we will continue to perform well. In terms of non international talent, I would mention 2 fast bowlers - Umaid Asif and Bilawal Bhatti who we expect to perform well. We also have 2 exciting batsmen in the shape of Shahid Yousuf and Haris Sohail – both of whom we have high expectations of performing in this tournament.