PESHAWAR-Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif have lauded KP Senior Minister Sports Muhammad Atif Khan for initiating KP talent hunt program, which is vital for finding fresh faces in cricket.

Briefing the media here at media center, Inzamam, along with chief coordinator Rashid Latif, urged the KP Directorate of Sports to extend such programs at U-14 level to develop much-needed nurseries of various games at grassroots level. Besides Inzamam and Latif, Kabir Khan, Wajahat Ullah Wasti, Arshad Khan, Sajid Shah, Directors Syed Saqlain Shah, Niamat Ullah, coach Syed Jaffar Shah and coordinator games Zakir Ullah were also present during the day-long trials.

“Allocating Rs 50 million for talent hunt program initially is very encouraging step taken by KP Senior Minister for Sports, Tourism, Culture and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan and also lauded KP DG Sports for his keen interest shown in this program by involving Kabir Khan, Wajahat Ullah Wasti and other international and first class cricketers, who visited across KP and merger tribal districts and conducted trials,” said Inzamam.

Replying to a query about Pakistan team’s performance against Australia, the chief selector said the team has given good fight despite giving rest to 5 to 10 players and hopefully, the selected players would give good result in the World Cup.”

Latif said looking after the upcoming batsmen mean KP have good talent and certainly these batsmen would go through under qualified coaches and learn more as far as developing their skills is concerned. Inzamam said a total of 6000 players from 36 districts including district of recently merged tribal areas took part in the trials in their respective districts. Out of 6000 players, 250 were shortlisted for the second phase of trials at Maazullah Khan Cricket Academy Peshawar.

“Soon after selecting 250 players, he said, medical checkup of the players were conducted at Shoukat Khanum Hospital to ascertain age of every individual. He disclosed that out of 250, 110 players, according to the medical report, were declared overage and 140 were called for the trials.

“Out of 140 players, a total of 82 players were shortlisted in the morning session of the trials supervised by Inzamam and final 60 were shortlisted to make four teams of 15 players each. These teams would play seven One-Day and as many T20 matches before the final selection of 20 players for a longer duration of training and coaching under qualified coaches. A contract would also be signed with these final selected 20 players for two years,” said the chief selector.

To a query, Inzamam said that the final 20 players would have a good chance to make way to forthcoming Under-19 World Cup squad and other national teams.

 

The other games in talent hunt program include squash, football, volleyball, hockey, cricket (male), badminton (male & female), table tennis (male & female), and athletic (male & female).