RAWALPINDI  -  Pakistan Cricket Cup 2019 will roll into action today (Tuesday) here at Pindi Stadium, with five times vying for the title.

Addressing a press conference here at Pindi Stadium on Monday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) General Manager Domestic Cricket Shafiq Papa, along with title sponsors’ representative and captains of Sindh, Balochistan, KP, Punjab and Federal Areas, said: “Domestic cricket is always on top priority for PCB and despite the world is playing and focusing on T20 cricket, we are ensuring 50-over matches go ahead. We have selected top 75 performers of domestic cricket and divided them into five teams equally.”

Sharing his views, title sponsors representative Muhammad Sajjad said: “Cricket is most sought after sports in Pakistan and that’s why we decided to join hands with PCB and we are looking forward to carry forward this partnership.”

Balochistan captain Asad Shafik said: “It is my goal to deliver for the team and help it register crucial victories. As the World Cup is round the corner and all those, who perform well, will get a chance to play for national team in the mega event. I have a very balanced team, which is based on youth and experienced players. I am hopeful that they will live up to the expectations and help the team win the title.”

Federal Areas captain Muhammad Nawaz, who replaced M Rizwan as a skipper, said: “We had a balanced squad. We had won Pakistan Cup twice and we will try to win it for third time in a row. I am performing well recently and I hope to carry forward the momentum and win a place in the national team for the World Cup.”

Sindh skipper Umar Gul said: “Pakistan Cup is one of the best tournaments of domestic cricket. All the teams are well-balanced and I wish all best of luck. I will try to play role-model role for juniors. I am satisfied with Sindh squad, which has good fast bowlers, spinners and batsmen. It will be good platform for players to perform and earn a place in the national team. I will try to win the cup for my team.”

KP captain Salman Butt said: “It has always been an honour to lead the side. Top 75 players are playing in the tournament and they will try to play good and positive cricket to earn a place in the national squad. I am performing exceptionally for the last four years and will try to repeat the same in Pakistan Cup. It is my utmost wish to contribute towards national team cause as much as I could, if provided with opportunity.”

Punjab captain Kamran Akmal said: “Pakistan Cup is always very competitive tournament. Last year, it was held in Faisalabad and now it is being held in Rawalpindi. The crowd always comes in good numbers and support players. It’s a great opportunity for all the players as those, who will perform and impress the selectors, will earn the place in the national team.”

Shafiq said all the top performers are playing in Pakistan Cup. A few players, who are hot candidates for World Cup, were given rest against Australia. When asked why PCB named all the five captains for Pakistan Cup, who don’t play in national team, Shafiq failed to answer the simple question.

Later, the trophy and logos were also unveiled by Shafiq Ahmed in the presence of all the captains and representatives of title sponsors.