The 20-over tournament begins on September 30
Former Pakistan cricketers have picked their favourite side for the National T20 Cup which begins on September 30 in Multan.
The 20-over competition will mark the start of the 2020-21 domestic season. For the first time in its history, the tournament will be played on a double league basis.
The Imad Wasim-led Northern side will defend their title.
Former cricketers including Younis Khan, Ramiz Raja, Rashid Latif and Moin Khan, in a blog published on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) website, picked the sides they believe will prevail in the tournament.
Raja, a former Test captain and a renowned commentator, believes the Northern side will come out as a strong unit and will be difficult to beat because their captain Imad Wasim is a good player.
“They have Shadab Khan, as vice-captain who is progressing very well in white ball cricket. Similarly, they have a stock in young talent, but I will have my eye on Haider Ali. He is becoming my favourite player because of his fearless batting, and I think he will emerge as a unique star in this tournament.”
He said Haris Rauf is bowling at a good pace whereas Farzan Raja is shaping up to to be a quality leg spinner. “Pakistan is in need of spinners so one must keep an eye on him.”
Younis Khan, who led Pakistan to their only T20 World Cup win back in 2009 in England, is backing Balochistan. “This team consists of senior and young exciting players and I hope under Yasir Shah and star player Bismillah Khan the team will give very good performances. My best wishes are with the team in the tournament.”
Saeed Ajmal, the leading wicket-taker in the tournament’s history with 89 scalps, is also supporting Imad Wasim’s side. “In Imad, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Amir they have rich experience and quality. They also have some experienced players both in their batting and bowling departments who understand well the demands of T20 cricket.”
What makes them a formidable unit is the presence of promising youngsters like Haider Ali and Rohail Nazir who have both progressed remarkably well in the last year. Haider has made a wonderful start to his career with his explosive half-century on T20I debut against England. Of course, he would be full of confidence going into the tournament.”
Imran Nazir, who was part of the Sialkot Stallions who have won the competition for a record six times, said he is supporting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The side has Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman. The team will be coached by our legend Abdul Razzaq. I hope the way Razzaq used to perform for the team, he will take out the same performance from his team players.”
The opening fixture will be played between Northern and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Multan Cricket Stadium on September 30.