Turkey might still not find a place worth recognition on the world cricket map, but a few of cricketers from the Western Asian nation are good enough to figure in professional cricket.
The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League will feature 2 cricketers from the country which is not at all known for its cricket exploits.
Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi has announced that two cricketers from Turkey would be part of the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Taking to Twitter the PSL, the franchise owner lauded the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan who “aims to develop good relations with Turkey”.
“Applaud the vision of Imran Khan who aims to develop good relations with Turkey. This year, we are taking 2 Turkish Cricketers who will be part of the Peshawar Zalmi squad for @thePSLt20,” he said.
The players were picket at as the Zalmi Foundation held a cricket camp in Ankara. “Ankara Kriket Sport Külübü Derneği conducted a cricket camp with the help of Zalm Foundation in which aspiring cricketers were invited from all across the country. Peshawar Zalmi aims to promote cricket in Turkey by developing a strategy with Ankara Sports Clubs Association,” Afridi said.
This is not the first time that Zalmi will be giving opportunity to players from cricketing minnows. The team last year had two players from China.
In response to Afridi’s tweet, Turkish ambassador in Islamabad Mustafa Yurdakul said that interest in cricket was on the rise in Turkey. “Interest in #Cricket is growing slowly but concretely in Turkey thanks to our fruitful cooperation with Javed Afridi and Peshawar Zalmi,” the ambassador tweeted.
The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League begins in Dubai on February 14 with Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars set to play the opener.
Five matches will be played at Karachi’s National Stadium including the March 17 final, while Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium will play host to three matches as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) continues to increase the number of matches in the country with every edition. Lahore hosted the final in the second edition of the league before hosting two matches last season when Karachi hosted the final.