Tahir, Munro join Sammy, Afridi and Malik as mentors in Pakistan's new junior league

by IANS |

Lahore, July 29 (IANS) South African wrist spinner Imran Tahir and New Zealand's T20 exponent Colin Munro on Friday joined the likes of Daren Sammy, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik as team mentors for the inaugural six-team Pakistan Junior League, which will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium here from October 4-17.

Sammy, Afridi and Malik were last month named as mentors by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The appointment of the sixth team mentor will be announced in due course, according to PCB. After the team-naming rights have been confirmed, these legendary international stars will be allocated sides.

Pakistan great Javed Miandad will be involved in the tournament as an overall mentor, assisting the mentors of the six sides and the players during the tournament.

Imran played for Pakistan in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 1998 before moving to South Africa in 2005 and making his international debut for the Proteas in 2011. The wrist spinner played in 20 Tests, 107 ODIs and 38 T20Is, taking 57, 173 and 63 wickets, respectively. In the Pakistan Super League (PSL), he has represented Multan Sultans (2018, and 2020 to date).

Munro struck three T20I centuries and 11 half-centuries, including a 14-ball 50 against Sri Lanka, in a 65-match career with New Zealand. The hard-hitting batter also played in 57 ODIs, scoring 1,271 runs. The 35-year-old represented Karachi Kings in the 2019 PSL, while he has been on Islamabad United's roster since 2020.

"Returning to Lahore for the Pakistan Junior League in a team mentor's role is one of my most satisfying achievements as I still owe a lot to my country of birth. This is an exciting opportunity to work with emerging slow bowlers and help them develop and flourish so that they have a chance to emulate the great spinners this country has produced," said Tahir.

"I am fully behind the philosophy of Pakistan Junior League as this creates a tough and challenging environment for the players with high expectations, and only those who will clear this scale will go leaps and bounds in their careers. With the amount of international cricket being played, this event will help Pakistan to amplify their pool of players, which, in turn, will increase playing opportunities and earning the prized national cap," he added.

"I am excited to be part of the inaugural Pakistan Junior League, which I believe will be a game-changer for Pakistan cricket. Investing in youngsters, securing the future of the game and ensuring the national side continues to move in an upward direction should be the objectives of all administrators and I think the PCB has taken a lead here by launching this tournament, which will expose the young talent to the rigours and demands of top-level cricket and help Pakistan in the longer run," said Munro.

"Working with youngsters, sharing knowledge and helping them grow in their careers is something that interests and excites me, and I am really looking forward to being a part of the Pakistan Junior League. Having seen firsthand experienced the tremendous talent at the HBL Pakistan Super League, I have no doubts the Pakistan Junior league will produce future champions of world cricket," he added.

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