County news

Ajmal Shahzad interested in Pakistan Super League

David Hopps

January 31, 2013

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

Ajmal Shahzad removed Dawid Malan for 12, Middlesex v Lancashire, County Championship, Division One, Lord's, September, 4, 2012
Ajmal Shahzad, who had a spell with Lancashire last year, will keep an eye on the PSL developments © PA Photos
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Ajmal Shahzad, who only two years ago was regarded as a integral part of England's fast-bowling future, is the most notable English county player seriously considering whether to sign up for the planned Pakistan Super League.

Pakistan are so anxious to attract overseas players that they have offered life insurance of $2 million (£1.25m) as well as 24-hour personal security for a tournament which would offer competitive cricket immediately ahead of the English county season.

That has been enough for Shahzad to toy with the possibility of making himself available, along with three other county players with Pakistani antecedents: Lancashire's Kabir Ali, Mooen Ali of Worcestershire and Kadeer Ali, who is currently a free agent since being released by Gloucestershire in 2010.

That they would eventually accept offers, though, is far from certain. Players' associations including the international body, FICA, and their England equivalent, the PCA, have warned players that they should not visit Pakistan on security grounds and there is a general acceptance that overseas players will be immensely difficult to attract.

But players with a Pakistan background, and of Muslim religion, are naturally more willing to consider any offers than most, privately feeling that their safety, although impossible to guarantee, might be less compromised.

Shahzad, who is forging a new career with Nottinghamshire after sharing a troubled 2012 season between Yorkshire and Lancashire, said: "It's still early doors but if the PSL is set up professionally and becomes official and the security is top notch then I would think about it. My first commitment is to Notts but the fixtures don't clash with the English season."

Nottinghamshire have taken a firm line against the involvement of their players in the IPL because it clashes with the England season, but their director of cricket, Mick Newell, emphasised that there would be no automatic objection to any overseas T20 tournament which took place in England's close season.

He counselled: "We would advise players to have full discussions with the PCA before making a decision about any overseas T20 tournament so they were fully aware of any issues, but we would not automatically block an NOC if it was requested."

Lancashire are confident that they have dissuaded Kabir from making the trip. "We haven't granted an NOC for any of our players to go forward to the PSL auction," a Lancashire statement said, giving the impression that the subject was closed.

Kabir, though, had been among the keenest to make the trip, despite an unnerving experience with terrorist violence, this time in India, more than four years ago. When attacks on Mumbai forced the suspension of India's tour of India, In November 2008, Kabir was due to have dinner at the Taj Palace, where England were also shortly due to stay, on the night of the attacks. He changed his mind at the last minute and went to the cinema and the shootings began shortly afterwards.

Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, said that Mooen Ali has also not yet applied for an NOC certificate. Such applications would be premature, however, as details of the PSL have not been finalised. Mooen is believed to have more reservations about the tournament than many others under consideration.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by sirvivfan on (February 1, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

Very please to see British born Pakistan players willing to play in Pakistan. Well done boys it is least we can do. There are also less well established players in the county circuit who should be encouraged to go to Pakistan.

Posted by homegroundmatches on (February 1, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

whoever love cricket in the world , well going to support cricket in pakistan in any shape, its good,

Posted by umairasgharbutt on (February 1, 2013, 14:47 GMT)

folks just wait and watch !!!!! PSL gonna shock many ppl !

Posted by StoneRosesRam on (February 1, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

Think a lot of people are missing the point here saying 'pakistan have enough players as it is to make the league work'. That may be but the ONLY reason the PCB have really organised this league is to bring back touring teams like England, SA and Australia and the only way they are going to do that is by getting foreign players to come and put other players minds at ease.

Having said that they are going to need to attract better and more well known overseas players then the ones mentioned in the article, i mean if Ajmal Shahzad is potentially the highest profile overseas player that you are going to have in your league then you know you've got problems

Posted by   on (February 1, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

i think super league idea is very good and Chairman PCB should request Chief of Army staff General Ishfaq Pervez Kiani to give his support to Pakistan cricket and provide army security to super league and if it is done and anounced that PSL will be held under Pakistan Army security personels than i think foreign players might come to Pakistan

Posted by davidatlas999 on (February 1, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

okay we will love to see you here the thing is pakistan are really really missing some international cricket thats why pakistan is going with this super leage idea cause they wanna show the world pakistan is not that bad place for cricket. So if they came here and they will play good one.

Posted by getsetgopk on (February 1, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

Like I said, Pakistan doens't need players from other countries, we have a large enough pool of players having a Pakistani origin. Its difficult for teams like BD as they have one or two cricketers of quality in BD and nothing else and hence are more reliant on foreign players. PSL should be a resounding success.

Posted by captainpermod on (February 1, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

It means that PSL will only be a tournament for players of pakistan or the international players having background of pakistani origin. PCB should not risk life of any foreign player by inviting to play in PSL. They should stop all cricketing actitivities domestically until situation is improved in the country. Then the show must go on.

Posted by irfankiani on (February 1, 2013, 7:30 GMT)

"Fifty players already sign contract with Psl and we are expecting more players to sigh contract" According to salman server butt Ceo of psl. So be ready for great show in march 2013 INSHAALLAH.

Posted by Aizikhan on (February 1, 2013, 3:05 GMT)

Imran Tahir can be a Good option , He came to pakistan a year Ago. And Apart from Cricket , AMIR KHAN the boxer Also come here often..Security security security.. I am sick of this.. there is no problem .. problem is just jealousy of Other Cricket boards because Pakistan Got Talent here.

Posted by JMclain on (February 1, 2013, 2:36 GMT)

To be honest i don't even care if we get international players or not... i would like to see this tournament good competitive one and full of 10 days of action unlike long boring 2 month events.

If International players want to come then come.. if not.. then Show must go on...

Posted by JMclain on (February 1, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

I am pretty sure that all the guys will be safe and sound and impressed with Pakistani Hospitality. This is a very serious PCB management under Zak Asraf not a nonsense like MR BUTT and all players will be looked after very well.. PSL should work. best of luck to Zaka Ashraf, Haroon logart and rest of PSL management. ...

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (February 1, 2013, 0:15 GMT)

I am pretty sure that all the guys will be safe and sound and impressed with Pakistani Hospitality. This is a very serious PCB management under Zak Asraf not a nonsense like MR BUTT and all players will be looked after very well.. PSL should work. best of luck to Zaka Ashraf, Haroon logart and rest of PSL management.

Posted by simon_w on (February 1, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

i'd go, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm rubbish at cricket ;) seriously, Pakistan needs this, and I would be keen to support them. more power to those who are willing, and I hope they end up with a great tournament.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (January 31, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

Not sure feeling the need to offer life insurance sends out quite the right message!

However, if the players wishing to go believe themselves to be sufficiently safe, I hope that they go and that their confidence turns out to be well placed. Whatever my reservations, I'd love to see Pakistan make a go of this, because they've tried so hard to keep going during a very tough time.

Posted by kamiCric on (January 31, 2013, 22:54 GMT)

@torsha. Ajmal Shahzad is a born and bred English player having family roots in Pakistan just as other English players having family roots in different other countries that doesn't make them any lesser English players. Stop Pakistan bashing and grow up!

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 22:21 GMT)

So who is going to go? I mean the star ones? till then keep dreaming Pakistan fans :D

Posted by samincolumbia on (January 31, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

Is PCB only offering life insurance or also offering money in case the players lose one or both their limbs?

Posted by reality_check on (January 31, 2013, 21:15 GMT)

There is an opportunity in this if PCB plays it's cards right. Get Pakistani origin county players from England to participate in PSL. They may be able to bring with them a few non Pakistani origin players. PCB can then provide more Pakistani cricketers to the counties as they are not part of IPL and are available. Couple of successfull tournaments and who knows, this may attract big names as well. Win/Win for both counties and PCB/PSL at the end.

Posted by SamNY2013 on (January 31, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

Local fans and players deserve PSL. Its a very important step to revive international cricket in Pakistan.

Posted by torsha on (January 31, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

So pakistani born cricketer will play in pak and he will dare to play there regardless of security concerns cuz ultimately he is pakistani.

Posted by bigdhonifan on (January 31, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

@ SK5983 Hashim Amla, Are you joking. 100% he wont be playing in PSL.

Posted by wiseshah on (January 31, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

ajmal shehjad will play with saeed ajmal and ahmed shehjad no one will go.

Posted by A.T.Abbasi on (January 31, 2013, 19:21 GMT)

I hope PSL will help to bring international cricket in Pakistan... Best of luck Pakistan

Posted by AK47_pk on (January 31, 2013, 18:37 GMT)

Pakistani players have served english counties for long long time nd now its counties turn to give something back to pak cricket. One thing im sure about is, only those counties will be able to sign pak players considring to give NOCs to their players for PSL. English counties are already sruggling to sign overseas players nd they are on the brink of losing players from pak too. Just as bangladesh did. Think wisely act wisely cuz its give nd take in today, s world.

Posted by KingAjmal on (January 31, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

Good Luck Pakistan! but yeah the format is all wrong people are not silly.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 31, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

Pakistan should try to attract Players like Hashim Amla, Usman Khawaja, Imran Tahir. But Pakistan has made one mistake if PCB would have allowed Pak Players to BPL, Bangladesh top players would have come to play the PSL. It would have been a big boost, i think due to that move PSB has gone on back foot and hurt themsleves. If possible PCB should try to attract some players from Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Nepal, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe team initially after year or two when tournament get succesful others players will also beleive it is safe to play on Pakistan and will enter in Pak.

Posted by Umms on (January 31, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

PSL may be a good option. But to me Pakistan should invite smaller nations for cricket like Scotland, Kenya, Zimb, even Ireland and play triangular or 4 nation tournament on double league and field your B team with Misbah and Hafeez captaining. They can do this twice a year. Improve your domestic structure like what SA did and in the meantime, PCB should select palyers for education and groom them make them study till Bachelors, so they are more equipped to deal international events. Give them scholarship to study and make them good role models.

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (January 31, 2013, 17:51 GMT)

Pakistan should look for all the Pakistanis that playing for other teams such as Imran Tahir, Owais Shah, Adil Rasid etc. They will be considered as a international player in PSL. These people wont mind going there because they have been their many time and it will be like a holiday to home town for them :D

Posted by warneneverchuck on (January 31, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

God bless him.

Posted by LahoriLion009 on (January 31, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Its like the first drop of rain many more to come.................INSHALLAH

Posted by zalmaypk on (January 31, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

Good news. come on.. and enjoy the cricket ..it will be in lahore now the situation is totally changed there,since the year 2009,

Posted by PAKISTANiLive on (January 31, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

will love to see him in PSL! no fear, no worries, PAK IS SAFE!!!!

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 17:14 GMT)

They are no big name stars nobody is going to watch this small league especially when you have 5 teams and still a semi final but good luck! We don't need T20 leagues and yet we are one of the best sides in the world :P

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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