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  1. #1
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    Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019 Preview: Central Punjab

    The new Quaid-e-Azam Trophy will begin next week, and will be played exclusively on a regional basis. This is the first of six threads focusing on each team where we will preview and monitor their performances this season.

    Central Punjab must be ranked as the favourites given their strength in all departments. They have experienced batsmen who’ve been prolific at domestic level such as Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Umar Akmal, Salman Butt and Ahmed Shehzad.

    They possess several internationally capped fast bowlers such as Hasan Ali, Ehsan Adil and Fahim Ashraf as well as capable spinners such as Zafar Gohar and Bilal Asif.

    Their strength in depth ensures they’ll be competitive even without the centrally contracted players.

    Strengths: Presence of nearly a dozen internationally capped players providing an experienced core of batsmen and bowlers.

    Weaknesses: Combustible personalities like Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Salman Butt have had disciplinary infractions in the past. It’s vital these senior players set the right example to the youngsters.

    Players to watch: Nasim Shah has impressed many with his raw pace and ability to extract bounce. Ahmed Bashir is a promising and intelligent young seamer.

    First XI - Ahmed Shehzad (vice-captain) (Lahore), Ahmed Bashir (Lahore), Ali Shan (Faisalabad), Bilal Asif (Sialkot), Ehsan Adil (Faisalabad), Fahim Ashraf (Faisalabad), Kamran Akmal (wicketkeeper) (Lahore), Mohammad Saad (Lahore), Nasim Shah (Lahore), Rizwan Hussain (Lahore), Saad Naseem (Lahore), Salman Butt (Lahore), Umar Akmal (Lahore), Usman Salahuddin (Lahore), Waqas Maqsood (Faisalabad) and Zafar Gohar (Lahore).

    Second XI - Ali Waqas (captain) (Faisalabad), Abdullah Shafiq (Sialkot), Ahmed Safi Abdullah (Faisalabad), Aizaz Cheema (mentor) (Lahore), Ali Zaryab (Lahore), Asad Raza (Faisalabad), Atiq-ur-Rehman (Faisalabad), Ayaz Tasawar (Sialkot), Bilawal Iqbal (Lahore), Farhan Khan (wicketkeeper) (Lahore), Irfan Niazi (Faisalabad), Mohammad Akhlaq (Lahore), Mohammad Ali (Sialkot), Raza Ali Dar (Lahore), Suleman Shafqat (Faisalabad) and Zahid Mansoor (Rawalpindi).

    White ball specialists - Nasir Nawaz (Rawalpindi), Nauman Anwar (Sialkot) and Usman Qadir (subject to availability) (Lahore).

    PCB central contract players - Babar Azam (captain) (Lahore), Azhar Ali (Lahore) and Hassan Ali (Lahore).

    Last edited by MenInG; 12th September 2019 at 13:16.

  2. #2
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    Shehzad
    Butt
    Azhar
    Babar
    Salahuddin
    Akmal
    Kami (wk)
    Hassan
    Zafar
    Bashir
    Naseem

    They will have pacemen like Waqas and Ehsan on the bench, whilst Faheem could also be benched - crazy depth.

    If they don't win, then it would be a huge shock.

  3. #3
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    By far, the strongest side in Quaid e Azam Trophy.

    And the great thing about this side is we have the future captain of Pakistan leading this side.

    Would be interesting to see how Babar handles his options.

  4. #4
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    Everything covered, including number of combinations. If they want they can go with 2 spinners and 3 seamers making Fahim a no 7 batsman and a third seamer or they can just go with the conventional way of 3 seamers and a spinner or 2 seamers and 2 spinners according to the pitch conditions.
    Last edited by Titan24; 8th September 2019 at 17:55.

  5. #5
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    Its also probably the fastest trio of pacers with all 3 (Naseem, Hassan and Bashir) in the potential first Xi capable of bowling mid 140s while Naseem can take it to 150s.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan24 View Post
    Its also probably the fastest trio of pacers with all 3 (Naseem, Hassan and Bashir) in the potential first Xi capable of bowling mid 140s while Naseem can take it to 150s.
    True and the switch to the red Kookaburra means pace through the air is of added importance.

    Hasan Ali though is under the scanner after a poor World Cup. He really needs a good QEA Trophy to regain his confidence.

  7. #7
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    Mohammed Ali from the 2nd XI is one of the most underrated players on pakpassion.
    His first class and List A numbers are very good.
    Economy of under 4 In today's one day cricket, I hope he gets a good run in the one day team.

  8. #8
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    Ahmad shahzad, Salman butt, umer akmal, kamran akmal all in a same team, it's recipe for disaster

  9. #9
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    @Markhor


    The success of the tournament depends on how many youngsters are given the chance. I'm not saying that it should be all out youngsters. I will give three examples to explain my point
    1) Saif Badar has played 7 FC in two seasons
    2)Imran Rafiq played 2017 season with SNGPL and played only two FC matches but when he left SNGPL and played for Multan in the next season , he did extremely well because he got the opprounity to prosper.
    3)Hussain Talat played 3 FC matches last season with an average of 59 something and Khurram Shehzad(38 year old) played 9 matches with an average of 25.


    U23 batsmen aren't given enough opprounites, and play very few FC matches once they reach age of 23.
    Last edited by shah_1; 9th September 2019 at 17:59.

  10. #10
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    Central Punjab, a squad laden with talent and skill

    Karachi, 12 September 2019: Pakistan’s star batsman Babar Azam will lead a strong Central Punjab outfit in the 2019-20 domestic season that gets underway with the prestigious Quaid-e-Azam Trophy’s first round from 14 September. Central will take on Southern Punjab in the Punjab Derby from Saturday in their season opener at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.

    Babar who has become the linchpin of Pakistan’s batting across the three formats has been in a rich vein of form and peaked at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 – which saw him make the most runs for a Pakistan batsman, in a single World Cup edition, in what was his maiden ICC Cricket World Cup.

    The right-handed top-order batsman, regarded as one of the most elegant stroke-makers in the game at present, amassed 474 runs at 67.71 with the help of one century and three half-centuries.

    Babar who at present is the first pick among batsmen for Pakistan in all three formats has already scored 5695 international runs in a four-year career span.

    Babar will look to further raise his stakes in the longer formats by posting some big runs in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in a bid to improve his at present 37 run first-class average from 53 appearances, including 21 Test appearances.

    As a captain, Babar will have at his disposal a star-studded batting line-up which has the capability of excelling in all three formats. Domestic and international cricket’s seasoned campaigners Azhar Ali, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal and Salman Butt will add experience and depth in Central Punjab’s batting. Test batsman Usman Sallahuddin and Pakistan international Saad Naseem provide further strength to the batting department.

    Azhar, a veteran of 73 Tests, has scored a total of 11581 first-class runs with the aid of 35 centuries in a career spanning 19 years

    Wicket-keeper batsman Kamran has enjoyed a rich vein of form in domestic cricket in recent years. He is one of the nine batsmen to have scored 1000-plus runs in single edition of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy tournament having achieved the feat in the 2016-17 season when he scored 1035 runs at 79.61.

    Another Pakistan Test batsman in Central Punjab’s ranks is Vice-captain Ahmed Shehzad, who has also been a consistent performer at the domestic level. The right-handed opener has 5041 runs in 72 first-class appearances. As opener, Ahmed will have the experience of former Pakistan captain Salman Butt who is likely to open with him. Salman, the left-handed opening-batsman, has scored 8020 runs in his 121-match first-class career and has 22 centuries to his name.

    Central Punjab also boasts a potent bowling attack. Rising fast-bowler Naseem Shah will provide pace and hostility along with the experienced duo of Pakistan internationals Ehsan Adil and Waqas Maqsood. Ehsan has so far collected 218 first-class wickets in a 54-match career, while, left-armer Waqas has taken 230 wickets in his 57-match first-class career.

    All-rounder Faheem Ashraf will look to chip-in with some big performances in a bid to regain his place in the national side. Faheem who has represented Pakistan in four Tests has appeared in a total of 40 first-class matches, scoring 1478 runs and snaring 117 wickets.

    Test off-spinner Bilal Asif who took six wickets on debut against Australia last year will lead the spin attack with international left-armer Zafar Gohar for company.

    Captain Babar Azam’s squad assessment:

    Central Punjab captain Babar Azam is excited about the opportunity of captaining a richly experienced squad especially with the depth in the batting department.

    “I am looking forward to the tournament and captaining the side. It is a huge honour to captain such a star-studded team. Our batting will be our big strength since we have some real experience and class in our ranks and we bat deep till number seven, eight. Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal are all proven performers.

    “In the bowling department we would be relying on Ehsan Adil to spearhead the attack. We also have Faheem Ashraf, who will also be a valuable asset for us. Our spin attack will be led by Bilal Asif, which gives the attack a potent look.

    “I am very happy to be captaining the side with so many senior players around. The experienced players will be there to help me out and I would seek their advice as and when needed.

    “I am also looking forward to the new Quaid-e-Azam format. It should be good season of cricket.”

    Central Punjab Second XI:

    The Central Punjab side which compete in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Second XI tournament is led by left-handed middle-order batsman Ali Waqas. The Sargodha-born has scored 4471 runs in 84 first-class matches at 35.48.

    The team will have a mentor in Aizaz Cheema, who has taken 556 wickets in 134 first-class matches – of which seven were Tests. His epic last over in the 2012 ACC Asia Cup helped Pakistan to the tournament victory as the right-arm medium-fast bowler defended nine runs against the hosts Bangladesh. The 40-year-old featured for Pakistan in 14 ODIs and five T20Is.

    Young left-hander Ali Zaryab who appeared in the ICC U19 World Cup held last year in New Zealand will be aiming to make a big impression, Abdullah Shafiq is another youngster who has the opportunity of making his presence felt in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Second XI.

    Promising leg-spinner Suleman Shafqat is another exciting prospect. Suleman has also represented Pakistan U19 and will be aiming to make big strides in the 2019-20 domestic season starting with the three-day event.

    Central Punjab second XI take on Southern Punjab second XI in their opening match from 14 September which will be played at the Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad.

    https://www.pcb.com.pk/press-release...and-skill.html
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 12th September 2019 at 16:48.


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  11. #11
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    Likely XI:

    1. Salman Butt
    2. Ahmed Shehzad
    3. Azhar Ali
    4. Babar Azam (c)
    5. Umar Akmal
    6. Kamran Akmal (wk)
    7. Fahim Ashraf
    8. Ehsan Adil
    9. Bilal Asif
    10. Hasan Ali
    11. Waqas Maqsood

    12. Ahmed Bashir
    13. Zafar Gohar
    14. Nasim Shah
    15. Rizwan Hussain
    16. Usman Salahuddin
    17. Abdullah Shafiq
    18. Zahid Mansoor
    19. Ali Zaryab
    20. Nasir Nawaz

    • Strong first XI, with some good up and coming players waiting in the wings (both batting and bowling)
    • Interesting how they manage their bowlers- likes of Bashir, Nasim and Zafar will need game time. Risk “senior” bowlers will be preferred, to the team’s detriment.
    • Legspin option is poor

  12. #12
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    They should have Nasim Shah inplace of Adil or Maqsood otherwise they won't have that attacking quick bowler who can bowl short spells.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danyaalr01 View Post
    They should have Nasim Shah inplace of Adil or Maqsood otherwise they won't have that attacking quick bowler who can bowl short spells.
    100%. Nasim, Bashir and Zafar should be in the 1st XI. But sadly I think the likes of Adil and Maqsood will get preference (in the first instance).

  14. #14
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    Bilal Asif playing over a talent like Zafar Gohar. Puke.

    Soon to be 34 year old offspinner with a 30.21 FC average. It was disturbing and shocking he managed to even play Test matches at the international level.

  15. #15
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    @Chief Destroyer

    Nasim Shah and Ahmed Bashir working with Waqar:



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