KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board on Wednesday confirmed Daren Sammy, Javed Miandad, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik as mentors of the inaugural Pakistan Junior League, which will be held in Lahore in October this year.
Miandad, who played in six World Cups from 1975-1996, will be the league mentor, while Afridi, Sammy and Shoaib will be the team mentors.
The four stalwarts share six major world titles, 1,559 international matches, 43,057 runs and 992 wickets between them. Sammy and Shahid were team-mates in the Peshawar Zalmi team in 2017 when the team in yellow won the Pakistan Super League at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Javed Miandad will be involved as an overall mentor, assisting the mentors of the six sides and the players during the tournament.
Afridi, Sammy and Shoaib will be part of the team dug-outs in the build-up to and during the Pakistan Junior League, which will be played at the backend of Pakistan versus England T20I that is scheduled to conclude on October 2.
In addition to the team mentor roles, the four household names will also serve as event ambassadors and will use their knowledge, influence and attraction to promote and publicise the first-of-its-kind event.
Three more team mentors will be announced in due course.
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja in a statement said: “I am delighted that we have been able to attract Javed Miandad, Daren Sammy, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik as mentors for the Pakistan Junior League. Their involvement in the Pakistan Junior League will help us achieve one of our event objectives that revolves around helping future generation of cricketers to achieve the champions and match-winning approach and mindset.”
Javed Miandad: “I have always enjoyed being part of the coaching set-up and this opportunity provides me with a chance to return to the field, work with players with bigger objectives and help them achieve excellence. Pakistan Junior League is an exciting and unique product, and I not only look forward to making a meaningful contribution but also project this league as a game-changer.”
Daren Sammy: “I am pleased to have been awarded with the opportunity to be involved in the inaugural Pakistan Junior League. I am fully behind the concept and believe it will assist in identifying and fast-tracking outstanding cricketers.”
Shahid Afridi: “I am a big advocate of investing in the future. If T20 cricket is a vehicle to promote and develop cricket, and identify young talent, then we need to create opportunities and come up with novel ideas to unearth hidden talent, and ensure their skills and performances are duly noticed and subsequently rewarded.”
“Working as mentor of a side comprising teenagers will be a new experience for me. I am thoroughly excited and looking forward to playing my part in helping these energetic and skillful cricketers achieve the zenith of glory. I believe that flashing actually only happens at under 13 to 19, after that it’s amiably man management.”
“I have no doubts with the abundance of talent we have, this tournament will be able to identify, at least, half a dozen cricketers who can be nurtured and developed into star cricketers, who can then go on to shoulder the expectations and hopes of millions of cricket fans and followers.”
Shoaib Malik: “I feel privileged and honoured to have been awarded with the opportunity to work as a mentor with one of the Pakistan Junior League sides. As someone who is actually a product of age-group cricket when I first played in the 1998 U19 World Cup, I can vouch for the importance and significance of this tournament.”
The Pakistan Junior League will be played on the single-league basis with the top-four sides progressing to the play-offs.
The top-two sides will play in the Qualifier with the winner qualifying for the final. The losing side will get a second chance to progress to the final when it will play against the winner of Eliminator 1 between the number-three and four ranked sides.