The Express Tribune joins hands with Islamabad United

KARACHI: The Express Tribune and Daily Express have partnered up with Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Islamabad United for the third edition of the league.

Islamabad United owner Ali Naqvi, speaking at the contract signing ceremony, expressed his happiness at the partnership. “We are delighted to have joined hands with such an esteemed media organisation,” he said.

How Islamabad United are helping Pakistan cricket

“The PSL is a global brand from Pakistan and as such it is our duty to ensure that it continues to thrive and flourish,” he elaborated.

Islamabad United won the inaugural edition of the PSL, defeating finalists Quetta Gladiators by six wickets under the captaincy of legendary Pakistan skipper Misbahul Haq.

The team is also credited with unearthing and refining some of the finest young talent available to Pakistan, with the likes of leg-spin sensation Shadab Khan and left-arm pacer Rumman Raees being at the forefront of that list.

Islamabad were one of the few franchises who instantly got involved in another T20 competition — Hong Kong T20 Blitz — where they bought a franchise under the name Hong Kong Islands United.

The move came as a surprise for many cricket pundits in the country, but Rehan believed it was a step in the right direction. “I know it doesn’t feel as competitive from the outside, but it really is,” he said. “Players such as Brian Lara and Kieron Pollard have taken part in these tournaments, which makes it a really competitive event. Our aim for buying a franchise in that tournament was to give young players exposure and we believe that it helped them.”

Wasim Akram leaves Islamabad United

Islamabad have one of the highest average age of any T20 side in the world but Rehan insists that has actually helped the youngsters.

“We set ourselves an aim of providing two players to the national team in two years, but we’ve managed to give four — Shadab, Rumman, Ammad Butt and Hussain Talat,” he said. “This is down to the fact that these youngsters are playing with such experienced campaigners, who share invaluable tips with them and help them develop under their wing.”

First of two exhibition match will be played on February 15 in Rawalpindi

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