Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pakistan's Domestic Season gets HOT

Pakistan's domestic circuit just got bigger with the launch of this year's Pentangular Trophy.

Historically the Pentangular was contested between the top 5 teams from the two major first class domestic competitions - the top 3 from the Patrons Trophy and top 2 from the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

This year the PCB decided for an overhaul and the competition is now a Provincial tournament with the 5 sides including 4 teams respresnting the 4 provinces (Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, and Balochistan) and a team representing the Federal Capital Area. Whats more is that the PCB made a pool of the top 100 cricketers from the country - 20 that represent Pakistan, the top 55 from this years domestic competitions, and 25 from junior cricket - and divided them equally into the 5 teams based on their province of origin.

In brief, this year's ABN Amro Pentangular Trophy is going to be bigger and better than ever.

Wait it gets even better.

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik will be leading the Punjab side while Shahid Afridi will captain Sindh. Shoaib Akhtar will lead the team representing the Federal Capital Area and Younis Khan will captain NWFP. Balochistan, which is primarily comprised of cricketers from different territories will be captained by domestic cricketer Naseem Khan.

The Punjab and Sindh teams are definiely the strongees outfits with a number of international players among the ranks. Besides Malik, Punjab includes internationals Misbah, Mohd. Yousuf, Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Nasir Jamshed, Naved Latif, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Zia, Abdul Rehman, and MOHAMMAD ASIF!! I can't wait to see him back in action.

Afridi's Sindh looks even stronger with the 2 upcoming openers Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif along with Hasan Raza, Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Khan, Danish Kaneria, and the former u-19 star Anwar Ali. Plus they also have Rizwan Ahmed, who made his ODI debut in the 5th ODI against Zim and Naumanullah who is the leading scorer in this years domestic season.

Shoaib Akhtar's team includes internationals Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar, and Bazid Khan. Younis Khan has with him Yasir Hameed, Samiullah Niazi, Wajahtullah Wasti, Fazl-e-Akbar, and the returning Umar Gul. Balochistan includes Imran Nazir, Abdur Rauf, and Kamran Hussain.

The competition is definitely something to look forward to. It includes the top international stars, the leading domestic cricketers, and a bunch of future prospects for Pakistan.

With the series against Australia coming up (fingers crossed), the Pentangular Trophy should provide good match practice to the players, especially the returning pacers, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, and Umar Gul.

Maybe these teams should make up Pakistan's entire domestic competition much like it does in Australia with the 6 state teams. It includes all the cricketers and ensures tough competition. It will surely enhance the quality of the cricket played by these men. Don't you think? Easier said than done in Pakistan though.

Action gets underway from 10th February, this Sunday. Stay Tuned.

Make your pitch on this post...

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6 Pitched:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Q... this is a very interesting move by the PCB. I like the attempt to mix the pros, domestic stars and the juniors into a single pool... experience will rub on to the others... this is great.

    Also have added you to my blogroll.

  2. Q said...

    Scorpi, I also think its an amazing move. It starts tomorrow with Punjab vs Federal Capital Area, meaning Shoaib Malik's team vs Shoaib Akhtar's.

    I just hope all the big names turn out to play.

    There could be some exciting matches esp Sindh vs Punjab.

    Thanks for adding our blog to your roll :-) I have asked my man Obaid to add u to our small list of blogs.

  3. Soulberry said...

    Q, is it being telecast? If so, which channel in Asia region?

    I think this is a smart move by PCB. progressive.

    I like the proportion they have kept for young cricketers.

    So the best will play against each other...period.

  4. Q said...

    SB, its being telecast on GEO Super in Pakistan. I don't know if u get that channel in India. We don't in Dubai.

    I was also glad by this PCB move. It shows that they are looking to the future and that they have a hand over the senior players in making sure that they all play.

    But im sligtly disturbed by the fact there is no live scorecards on cricinfo nor on any Paki site. A tournament like this should be given more coverage.

    The tournament kicked off this morning with Malik's team vs Akhtar's and Afridi's vs Younis'.

  5. O2 said...

    Sounds awesome!!

    ill wager on a dogfight between punjab and sindh for the title with sindh just edging it.

    Whats fascinating though is shoaib leading isloo. Will we see a different side to the enigma that is shoaib or will he implode and ascend new heights in incompetence, selfishness and showmanship!

  6. Q said...

    I'll put my money on the same final O2. The 2 teams look very strong.

    Shoaib Akhtar has made statements recently that he wasn't consulted before being given the captaincy role and that he doesn't want to play to prove his fitness but because of his loyalty to Islamabad...

    Lets see how he goes down.

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