ISLAMABAD -  The sudden rise of PTV cricket team under the coaching of former Test cricketer M Wasim is a classic example that one doesn’t need big names to excel as it is only planning and right combination, which is required to gain new heights.

PTV cricket team based on fresh faces and not having a single big name proved that when there is a will, determination and thinking brain, one doesn’t need big names. PTV young guns prove everyone wrong and managed to reach semifinals of the Departments One-Day Cup 2017-18, where big guns like SNGPL, defending champions HBL, KRL and NBP failed to qualify for semifinals. It is a huge achievement by the national broadcaster and deserves all the due credit.

Talking to The Nation, PTV head coach and former Test batsman Muhamamd Wasim attributed the milestone to the captaincy of Saud Shakil, who was long ignored and never given his due right. PTV management also deserve due credit for posing confidence in Saud’s abilities. “The strategy of giving chances to the promising youngsters, who gave outstanding performances in domestic cricket paid off for PTV. The young guns like bright al-rounder Hassan Mohsin and fast bowler Ather Mehmood proved their selection right by performing well and help their team qualify for the semifinals.

“Nihal Mansoor is a classic opening batsman, top class and a future star, who scored four 50 plus runs. He played all the top class fast bowlers with lot of authority and showed his talent, so I think he is bound to excel and would also be a member of Pakistan team soon. M Irfan was the most impressive bowler, who played for Fata and was top notch. I utilised him in the last 10 overs and he showed tremendous potential. His deliveries dip and batsmen kept on trying to charge him in the later stages of the match. So he has ability of becoming spin-all-rounder.

“It was overall big challenge for me to prepare youngsters well for the mega event and get best out of them and finally, I succeeded in achieving my goals. For a coach, it was not like end of the world, if two or three players of mine go on to represent Pakistan. It would be a huge satisfaction for me if players like Saud Shakeel, M Irfan and Ali Imran are picked by the selectors for the national team,” he added.

Wasim said: “I am always a huge advocate and admirer of young talent, when I was given the opportunity of coaching PTV, I made up my mind to give chances to young blood, as I firmly believe that they are hungry and fearless against any given bowler or batsman.

“I am grateful to Dr Nauman and former Test cricketer Rashid Latif, who helped me a lot in achieving my goals. PTV Managing Director Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera is a keen sports lover and always ready to lend a helping hand. His presence is also a huge benefit for all of us. I am looking forward for more upsets from my youngsters. We have nothing to lose, so I have given directions to my players to forget about winning or losing factor and just enjoy your cricket,” Wasim concluded.