Lahore Qalandars Captain Shaheen Shah Afridi Optimistic for Win

Lahore Qalandars Captain Shaheen Shah Afridi Optimistic for Win

Lahore, February 16, 2024 – As the ninth edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) prepares to unfold its cricketing spectacle, Lahore Qalandars’ captain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, addressed the media during a pre-tournament press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.

Afridi expressed optimism about his team’s chances despite the absence of ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who played a pivotal role in securing two consecutive titles for the defending champions.

Rashid Khan’s unavailability for the tournament is attributed to his national duties with the Afghanistan National team, leaving a void in the Lahore Qalandars’ lineup. Afridi acknowledged Khan’s significant contribution to the team and highlighted his absence as an opportunity for emerging players to showcase their talent on the grand stage, emphasizing that the team has capable replacements.

During the press conference, Afridi remarked, “Rashid Khan had a big role in the team. His absence is an opportunity for the emerging players to make their mark, and they are as good as it gets.” The captain’s confidence in the team’s depth and talent reflects the Qalandars’ commitment to maintaining their winning streak in the upcoming HBL PSL 9.

Addressing concerns about potential pressure on the team, Afridi reassured that the Lahore Qalandars were not feeling any burden and were determined to perform well in the tournament. He expressed hope that the squad, including new and emerging players, would rise to the occasion and continue their success in the league.

Afridi also took a moment to wish a full recovery to his bowling partner, Naseem Shah, who is currently dealing with an injury. He acknowledged Shah’s importance to the national team and hoped for his swift return to the cricketing field.

When questioned about his own fitness and bowling pace, the ace pace bowler stated confidently, “I am fit as a fiddle and feel very good.” Afridi, known for consistently bowling between 130 to 140 km per hour, revealed that he had touched the 150 km per hour mark on two occasions, showcasing his versatility and prowess on the field.

Discussing the team’s batting lineup, Afridi highlighted the presence of Rassie van Dusen, a valuable addition that would bolster the Qalandars’ batting strength. He expressed confidence in the team’s comprehensive skill set, emphasizing that the trio of Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan, and himself makes their bowling attack formidable. As Lahore Qalandars gear up for their opening match against Islamabad United, Afridi’s positive outlook and belief in the team’s capabilities set the stage for an exciting and competitive HBL PSL 9. The absence of Rashid Khan may pose challenges, but the Qalandars aim to overcome them and continue their quest for cricketing glory. The tournament promises cricket enthusiasts a thrilling showcase of talent, determination, and the spirit of competition.