Monday Feb 22, 2021
Karachi: Since the beginning of Pakistan Super League (PSL), Lahore Qalandars have introduced many talented cricketers, bringing them from oblivion to limelight.
Many players including Haris Rauf, Sohail Akhtar, Dilber Hussain, Farzan Raja, Maaz Khan and Salman Irshad have come to limelight through Qalandars’ Player Development Program.
On Sunday, Salman Mirza, another player from the same program, made an impressive PSL debut in the match against Peshawar Zalmi.
The 27-year-old hails from a humble family in Lahore where he used to play tape-ball cricket.
“I was a tape ball cricketer and used to play in the streets of Lahore. I first appear in the open trials of player development program in 2017 where I was selected to play for Lahore’s team in the PDP tournament and the following year I was selected to play for Faisalabad,” Mirza said in an exclusive interview to Geo Super following his 2-35 against Zalmi.
The bowler added that in 2019, he participated in the local T20 tournament named “Battle of Qalandars” where his bowling was noticed by the team management and he was selected to train at franchise’s High Performance Center to be groomed by the coaching staff.
Mirza revealed that he was travelling with Qalandars’ squad in PSL as a net bowler only as COVID-19 had made it difficult for Pakistan Cricket Board to provide net bowlers facilities in bio-secure bubble.
“I had not imagined that I would get a chance like this. I was there to bowl in nets and in the morning Sameen [Rana] bhai (the team manager) told me that I am playing. It was unbelievable, it was like a dream coming true moment for me to make a debut at such a big stage,” he said.
He credited the franchise for his growth and said that one day he will become a cricketing hero under the training of Qalandars’ staff.
“I was a zero and… well, I am not a hero yet but there will be a day I will definitely become one,” Mirza said. “It is all because of Lahore Qalandars who provided a platform to me and many other players to play top level cricket and achieve dreams.”