KARACHI: The Pakistan Super League team Lahore Qalandars took the Jazz Rising Stars programme to district Layyah in Southern Punjab on Sunday.
More than 5,000 aspiring Qalandars came to showcase their talent on the first day of the trials, which was conducted by the panel of coaches headed by Aaqib Javed, Lahore Qalandar’s Director of Cricket.
A number of players were shortlisted by the coaches and were asked to come again on Monday. Along with them, a large number of first-timers are expected on the second day of trials in Layyah.
Situated in South Punjab, Layyah is about 120 kilometres away from Multan and has a population of around 1.9 million people.
Lahore Qalandars’ COO Atif Rana said that the main reason to arrange Jazz Rising Stars programme in Layyah was to provide an opportunity to aspiring and talented cricketers from the smaller districts.
“We have massive talent in small cities of Pakistan, the only thing we need there is a proper platform for them to showcase their talent,” Atif told Geo.tv
“The atmosphere in Layyah was outstanding, players were highly motivated to show their skills and the coaches have spotted some of the brilliant talents today,” he added.
Javed, Pakistan’s former bowler, said that it was encouraging to see the cricket talent in Layyah district.
“It is good for Pakistan cricket in general that we have talent in every corner of the country, the only thing we need is to unearth them in a proper manner and polish them to become the performer,” he said.
The trials in Layyah will continue for a second day on Monday before a final 16-member squad from the district is picked by the panel of selectors.