ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Islamabad United Chief Operating Officer (COO) Shoaib Navid expressed his utter satisfaction over the available talent at Rawalpindi and Islamabad and termed he is highly confident that these young guns will soon represent Islamabad United and then national team.

Shoaib expressed these views during a hurriedly called press conference here at Shalimar Cricket Ground on Saturday, he was accompanied by former PCB member governing board, Shakil Shaikh, who is also President Islamabad Regional Cricket Association and Major (R) Naeem Gillnai, President Rawalpindi Region Cricket Association, Shoaib expressed his sincere thanks to Shakil Shaikh and Major Gillnai for providing all out support, grounds and relevant staff to conduct trials and then officiate matches. He also expressed his gratitude to Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) for reaching in numbers to cover the press briefing despite short notice. He assured that RISJA genuine concerns would be addressed and they will be given due respect.

He said they had conducted trials at Rawalpindi and response was amazing and when they we conducted trials at Islamabad they were overwhelmed the way Islamabad youth came in such numbers. “We gave top most preference to twin cities youth. It was for under-23 players. We also have U-16 players, as they are highly talented and I can easily claim that few of these youngsters are very much part of the United in the third edition of PSL.”

He said they had shortlisted six teams each from Rawalpindi and Islamabad and now the final between top teams of Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be held on 17th. “We also selected two teams based on the best players from both cities and they will also clash on 17th. Islamabad United owners Ali Naqvi and his wife, who is also highly vocal cricket lover are most likely to be present on 17th.”

While sharing his views Shakil Shakih dubbed Ali Naqvi as highly cricket-friendly persons and hoped under his dynamic leadership, United will further excel. He thanked RISJA for responding in style and coming in huge numbers despite very short notice. He assured sports journalists’ problems would be addressed. “Now I am fully involved and I know the sports reporters of twin cities just demand respect which is their basic right and we appreciate their positive role in promoting the talent of not only cricket but other sports as well.”

He informed that United is playing highly constructive role in promoting the local talent. “I know this region is blessed with immense amount of natural talent and United along with other franchises doing wonders for Pakistan cricket and soon the PCB will reap the benefit of their efforts and fresh talent will surface. The PSL is among the top most and most sought after leagues in the cricket world and in such short time, it had gained tremendous popularity.”

He said already Islamabad and Rawalpindi players were playing in the PSL and also for country and with United’s efforts, fresh talent will surface.

While sharing his views Major Gilani thanked United for inviting him and said he was highly moved when he witnessed trials at Muhammad Wasim Cricket Academy and was sure both cities youth will benefit from this initiative.

 “The youth is quite excited and the way they turned up in huge numbers is a clear indication that cricket is the sports, which attract all ages and there is huge fan-following of this sports. Selecting U-23 and also involving U-16 is a great initiative and it will bore more than desired results in short span of time.” He also offered his complete and unconditional backing to Islamabad United and hoped that after Shadab Khan and Muzammil, more local players will not only become the part of Islamabad United team, but will also play for the franchise in the coming edition.