By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Oct 17 (APP): Southern Punjab will start their title defence when the opening round of the three-day non first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy begins across three Karachi venues tomorrow, Sunday.
State Bank Stadium, KCCA Stadium and TMC Ground will be the hosts of the first-round matches. NBP Sports Complex is another venue that will be used later in the tournament.
Southern Punjab, who will be led by Salman Ali Agha in the first round, play Northern at the TMC Ground; Balochistan will clash with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the State Bank Stadium while Central Punjab will face Sindh at the KCCA Stadium.
The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy for Second XIs will be played on a double-league basis with each team playing the other twice.
The final round of the tournament will be held from 11 to 13 December. The team accumulating the most points will be crowned champions. The points breakdown is give below:
Points system for Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (Second XI)
For an outright win after taking the lead in the 1st innings 9 points for an outright win after conceding lead on the 1st innings (Losing team will get no points) 6 points.
For an outright win after a tie in the 1st innings (Losing team will get no points) 6 points In case of a drawn match, team getting 1st innings lead 3 points
For tie where teams have completed two innings 2 points each .
A team leading in 1st innings and 2nd innings tied shall get 5 points
For a tie in the 1st innings (No outright result or drawn) 2 points each
Abandoned, Wash out or drawn match with no 1st innings result. 1 point each
Team win with an innings margin 1 bonus point.
Team facing follow-on and saving the match (result drawn) 1 bonus point
Team facing follow-on and winning the match 2 bonus points
There will be an added incentive for the Second XI performing players as they can be picked to represent their respective First XI sides in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first-class tournament that commences in Karachi on 25 October.
Like the rest of the ongoing domestic season, the players, support staff and match officials will stay in a bio-secure bubble throughout the event. Strict Covid-19 SOPs are being adopted to ensure the health and safety of all participants.
There will be a 10-day gap in the tournament, from 10-19 November, to accommodate the play-offs and the final of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020, which will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
Some of the Second XI players are expected to feature for the four franchises that have booked play-off berths; These include Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans and Peshawar Zalmi.
The captains of the six teams are looking forward to a competitive tournament with an eye on securing the champions title.
Balochistan Second XI captain Azeem Ghumman said on Saturday “I am very excited to lead Balochistan in the tournament. The entire team is looking forward to doing well. We have an exciting bunch of young and experienced players and I think we can give good performances in the event.”
Central Punjab Second XI captain Mohammad Saad said : “I am thrilled about this opportunity of leading the Central Punjab side. Since coming to Karachi we have tried to acclimatise to the conditions by working hard in our nets sessions as well as in the gym.
The players are fit and raring to go. We have a balanced outfit and we are all prepared and ready to play.”
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Second XI captain Mehran Ibrahim said : “I am really excited and proud to lead the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa outfit in this tournament.
Our aim is to finish the event as the top team. Last year, we finished second and we will strive hard to improve that performance. I think we have a fully capable squad.”
Northern Second XI captain Umair Masood said : “I am captaining the side for the first time which makes me very excited for the competition. We have a very young team as our average age is 21 years. We have worked hard during the practice sessions.
Conditions in Karachi are always challenging and we look forward to taking on that challenge.
This tournament is a great opportunity for us as a team and individuals. We want to play well and make Northern champions and progress to the First XI team.”
Sindh Second XI captain Saifullah Bangash said, “It is an honour to captain Sindh. I have led U19 teams in the past but leading professional players is a big honour.
I am very excited about this opportunity. I would want to lead by example and keep my players motivated and focused. Our aim is to finish as champions.”
Southern Punjab Second XI captain Agha Salman said : “We were champions last year and I am ready to lead our title defence. I want to make the most of the opportunity by providing my team a solid start in the event.
I am leading a group of quality players who are full of potential. Last year, we were led very well by Naveed Yasin and I look forward to emulating his example.”
Balochistan vs Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – State Bank Stadium
Central Punjab vs Sindh – KCCA Stadium
Southern Punjab vs Northern – TMC Ground.