Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali fire shots at Lahore Qalandars' player development program after the team loses the opening games of PSL 2024

Updated - 21 Feb 2024, 12:49 PM

Mohammad Hafeez Shaheen Afridi
Mohammad Hafeez Shaheen Afridi. Image Credits: Twitter

Former Pakistan cricketers Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali have come forward to question the credibility as well as the effectiveness of the Players’ development program launched by Pakistan Super League outfit Lahore Qalandars in 2016 to identify youth players and provide them a platform to impress in the country’s utmost cricketing league.

Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali had sat together along with a few more panelists on a local Pakistani channel called A Sports. They usually discuss various aspects of cricket, from players’ analysis to putting forward blunt and honest opinions. One of the best things about the show is that they do not spare the country’s cricketing system at all and are known for voicing their opinions.

Currently, they have been discussing the ongoing 9th edition of the Pakistan Super League which went underway from February 17th onwards. Among the topics of discussion were the reigning champions Lahore Qalandars and their youth system which was initiated with the thought of creating a pipeline of young cricketers to represent the national side.

What is the Qalandars Players development program?

Back in 2016, when the first edition of the Pakistan Super League was played, the Lahore-based outfit launched its youth system which they named the Lahore Qalandars Players Development Programme (PDP). The scheme aims at scouting untouched nationwide talents, giving them thorough exposure by organizing camps.

The scouts would then spot several talents and put them in city-based teams with the best performers getting a chance to practice and further nourish their skills at the Qalandars High-Performance Center (QHPC) in Lahore. Until now, the plan has only unearthed a single talent and that is right-arm pacer Haris Rauf who used to play a lot of Tape ball cricket but has now been declined from the central contract list.

“We haven’t seen a product of the PDP”, Mohammad Hafeez criticizes Lahore Qalandars’ plan to promote talent

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez who was recently sacked by the Pakistan Cricket Board from the role of senior team’s director, bashed the Qalandars PDP for not doing enough to identify talents that have been as impressive as their first found – Haris Rauf.

Mohammad Hafeez openly claimed that he hadn’t seen a single product from that scheme that has caught the eye. He claimed the plan is a good one as it will help the franchise boost its popularity and give the Pakistani team some new names.

However, Hafeez also feels that the reality on the ground is something else even if they have remained very active in their scouting but the outcomes of it are yet to be determined.

“So far, whatever progress Lahore Qalandars have made within the PDP, there is no doubt that they are very active. But so far, apart from just Haris Rauf, we haven’t seen a product of the PDP that has caught our eye at the international level.” – Hafeez told A Sports.

“And that product of the PDP, which you have found, is performing. When they started to think outside, they started picking the right players. The PDP program is good for cricket promotion, it enhances the franchise’s hype, but it is not performing on the ground.” – Mohammad Hafeez concluded. 


Azhar Ali Lahore Qalandars Mohammad Hafeez Pakistan national cricket team Pakistan Super League 2024