For the second year running, Quetta Gladiators became the first team to qualify for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final. Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to host the final in Lahore has divided opinion but Quetta skipper Sarfraz Ahmed believes it is a step in the right direction.
The 29-year-old feels a successful final this time around can open the doors for international cricket to return to the country, with the PCB also promising to host more matches in the country next year; including a final in Sarfraz’s hometown of Karachi.
“We are looking forward to a good and exciting final,” said Sarfraz, while talking to a newspaper. “This will be good for the country as well as fans of cricket across the world since this can help bring back cricket to the country.”
Talking about the absence of big players, he said, “It will have an effect on the team in the absence of our foreign players but we have other international players joining the team tomorrow, so we will try to pick the best side we can for the final,” he said. “However, the likes of Pietersen and Mills will be difficult to replace.”
‘Here are we, playing the final for the second time in a row’
Quetta Gladiators batsman Ahmed Shehzad on Saturday said that though his team was dismissed as the “underdogs” in the PSL, they had qualified for the final for the second consecutive time and proved their critics wrong.
While talking to a newspaper in Lahore, Shehzad said that though he was aware that the Quetta Gladiators are still being considered the underdogs against Peshawar Zalmi, “Nobody had wanted to rate [the team] as a possible finalist when the Quetta Gladiators were first put together.”
“Yet here are we, playing the final for the second time in a row,” the hard-hitter added.
“Our enthusiasm and our passion are our strengths, and I hope that we are able to finish the task that we left incomplete last time,” he said.
Discussing the preparations for the final, Shehzad said the team that can sustain on-field pressure will have a better chance to win.