Lahore Qalandars, Pakistan Premier League’s most avidly followed cricket club and Jazz, the Nation’s beloved telecom brand, have announced ‘The Jazz Rising Stars’ initiative across Punjab.
This move has been made to further the development of grass roots cricket in the country by providing youth a platform to further hone and showcase their skills. Lahore Qalandars and Jazz wish to transform the local cricketing landscape in the coming months through this development program.
Asif Aziz, CMO – Mobilink, said, “Jazz will always strive to build platforms for the amazing talent present in our country. We want to bring international cricket back to Pakistan and at the same time groom future champions that will make us all proud.”
“A lot of untapped potential in Pakistan is not able to get the right opportunities to achieve their dreams. ‘Jazz Rising Stars’ is their opportunity to prove their mettle by getting selected to train and play at the international level. This initiative is a step forward in grooming and nurturing talent, which is the need of the hour and I am extremely proud that Jazz and Lahore Qalandars are taking this step together,” added Shahbaz Maqsood Khan, Director Marketing – Mobilink.
“As a team, our primary aim obviously is to win for the fans, but we also have this secondary focus on positively impacting the local cricketing environment. The Jazz Rising Stars initiative has been envisioned to do just that. By launching the first ever career oriented talent hunt, we are looking to develop the next generation of cricketers, who will not only bolster the ranks of Lahore Qalandars, but hopefully, also go on to represent the national team,” said Fawad Rana, Chairman – Lahore Qalandars.
Lahore Qalandars, has signed a contract with Big Bash League (BBL) franchise ‘Sydney Thunder’, which will allow the two to exchange academy facilities, training staff, and emerging players. The contract allows Lahore Qalandars’ emerging players to use Thunder’s facilities.
Aqib Javed, Director of Cricket Operations – Lahore Qalandars, said, “I am excited to see whether the talent we find is capable of adapting to the challenge being put before them. It will not be easy and the applicants will have to push themselves harder than they have ever done before. Some will rise and some will fall, but I hope the two that emerge justify our trust in them.”
‘The Jazz Rising Stars’ will be divided in to three stages and targets eight major cities of Punjab, namely, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan.
During the first stage, a talent hunt will be conducted in each of the eight cities. At the end of the two day trial, 16 players will be shortlisted from each city.
In the second stage, a tournament will take place, where the eight city-wise teams made up of the 16 shortlisted players will go head to head for the Jazz Rising Stars Trophy. Two of the best performing players at the tournament’s conclusion will be given the opportunity to join the official Lahore Qalandars squad for PSL 2017.
30 players chosen from the Jazz Rising Stars Tournament, will be invited to take part in the Development Academy – the third phase of the initiative. The players’ boarding and lodging will be taken care of entirely by Lahore Qalandars. State of the art training facilities and international quality coaching will be made available to the players at this academy.
‘Jazz Rising Stars’ will be commencing from the 26th of August, 2016 with the Jazz Rising Stars Tournament taking place on the 1st of October, 2016 after the end of phase one.