Captains ready for battle as PSL 2019 trophy is unveiled in UAESport
The captains of the Pakistan Super League 2019 and Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani addressed a press conference at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed stressed the importance to hit the ground running in T20 competitions, saying: "Momentum is very important in T20 tournaments so we would try and built that momentum from the first game.
When asked to comment on the success of PCB's flagship T20 league, he said: "PSL has made a huge difference. It has produced a lot of good cricketers such as Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees and Shadab Khan. This should continue, and more and more matches should be played in Pakistan."
Sarfaraz was also asked if his recent four-match international ban for passing a racist comment could affect his or his franchise's fortunes in PSL 2019, to which he responded: "I don't think my ban will have any bearing on this competition as this is a different competition. In fact, it's better that I am well rested."
Multan Sultans skipper Shoaib Malik wished his rivals good luck before vowing to improve on his team's last year's performance.
"I would like to wish all the team owners and captains best of luck," he said. "Last year we expected to make the playoffs but couldn't. We always try to do our best and we would do this time as well. A lot depends on how you perform in the first few matches. Let's see what players perform and stay consistent so the team does well and goes deep into the tournament."
Mohammad Hafeez seemed content with his "very good team" that has "very good players", adding: "We're looking forward to the challenge. Everyone is ready to give their best performance so hopefully this time we will do just that.
PCB Chairman Mani, meanwhile, explained how the PSL is serving as a platform for aspiring superstars of tomorrow.
"It is a great inspiration for the young cricketers," he said. "It's a fantastic opportunity for them to show their skills and play alongside some of the greatest cricketers in the world. There cannot be a better opportunity than this."