LAHORE-The head coaches of the six Cricket Associations have finalised the Second XI teams for the three-day non first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which begins on October 18 in Karachi. 

A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesman said here on Monday that Zain Abbas leads the defending champions Southern Punjab, who begin their campaign against Umair Masood-led Northern. Azeem Ghumman captains Balochistan, while Central Punjab and Sindh are led by Mohammad Saad and Saifullah Bangash. Mehran Ibrahim, who took over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s captaincy after Khushdil Shah joined the men’s national team for the tour of Australia in the last season, will continue in the role. 

“The six teams have gathered in a local hotel in Karachi for the competition, which will be played on double-league basis at four venues – KCCA Stadium, NBP Sports Complex, State Bank Stadium and TMC Cricket Ground. They begin their preparations from Tuesday at the three venues that host the first round matches. 

“The players who are featuring in the National T20 Cup, being played in Rawalpindi, will join their respective sides in Karachi after the completion of the tournament. In the meantime, the teams can request their replacements for the first round fixtures. 

Meanwhile, players and player support personnel, who shifted from bio-secure bubble in Lahore or became part of their squads for the first time this season, underwent Covid-19 tests and after returning negative results were integrated into the bio-secure bubble. 

In line with the Covid-19 protocols announced at the start of the season, all matches will be played behind closed doors. To ensure health and safety of the respected members of the media and due to limited resources and facilities, on-field coverage will not be allowed. The Pakistan Cricket Board will provide daily round-ups in both English and Urdu.