Pakistani batsman Fakhar Zaman will represent Lahore Qalandars in the ninth edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL). He recently announced his desired batting position in the PSL. Fakhar Zaman was asked to bat at number 4 for Pakistan in the recently concluded T20I series against New Zealand. He started as an opener in T20Is for Pakistan but was then asked to bat at number 3 and accepted the role with grace in the shortest format.
Fakhar Zaman was demoted to number 4 when the Pakistan team management removed Babar Azam from opening the batting and gave him the number 3 spot. Fakhar Zaman has shown great team spirit by agreeing to change his batting position. According to him, playing in the XI is more important than maintaining the batting position. However, for PSL he has selected a desired batting position and would like to bat in that specific position in the league for Lahore Qalandars.
Fakhar Zaman spoke about the difference between the Pakistan Cricket team and the PSL franchises and how the roles of the players differ in both circumstances. While speaking to the media in Lahore on Sunday, Fakhar Zaman expressed his preference to open the batting for Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League this season. However, he was willing to contribute to the team in any position.
“I am willing to bat in any position, but my preference is to open in the PSL. The dynamic within the Pakistan team is different; There we have players from all over the country. You cannot compare the Pakistan team with the PSL franchise,” he added.
Fakhar Zaman will play with the captain of his national team, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Lahore Qalandars will be led by Pakistan’s T20 captain Shaheen Shah Afridi and he has led this team to two consecutive titles, making them the only PSL team to have successfully defended their title. They defeated Multan Sultans in a thrilling final last season to claim their second PSL title. Shaheen’s success with Lahore Qalandars led the Board to appoint him captain of the Pakistan national cricket team in the shortest format.
However, Shaheen Shah Afridi’s first T20 series as skipper was a disaster as Pakistan lost to New Zealand 1-4 in the five-match T20 series. Shaheen Shah Afridi will open the bowling in the PSL for Lahore Qalandars with his national teammate Haris Rauf. Fakhar Zaman can be seen opening the batting for Lahore Qalandars with Abdullah Shafique as the two form the formidable opening pair of Lahore Qalandars.
The PSL is scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 17 and the first match will be played between Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United. The defending champions will kick off the new PSL season and it will be interesting to see if Lahore Qalandars can win the competition for the third time in a row under the leadership of Shaheen Shah Afridi and with notable players like Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf and Abdullah Shafique in the franchise.