Malik’s Sialkot Stallions eye Champions League crown

Sialkot Stallions captain Shoaib Malik is eyeing the Champions League crown in spite of the fact that he will not be taking his first choice squad to India for the $4 million Twenty20 tournament to be played from December 3-10.

Malik, the Pakistan captain, said the three-time national Twenty20 champion – Sialkot Stallions – lost a few key players to the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) but his team will still give its best shot for the lucrative title.

“We have trained very hard for the Champions League and hopefully the team will do well in India,” said Malik.

The all-rounder said that his team will play its first two games of the tournament in Bangalore, which he believed is a good omen. “The conditions in Bangalore are going to suit us,” he said.

Malik pointed out that his team will mostly be relying on spinners. Pakistan Test spinner Abdur Rehman, leg-spinner Mansoor Amjad and Malik himself will provide frontline spin options for a tournament where the slow bowlers are likely to play a major role.

The Pakistan skipper also said that he will try to convince Indian cricketers to visit Pakistan for the January-February series during his stay in India for the Champions League.

“The series against India is very important for us and I will try my best to convince the Indian players that they will be completely safe in Pakistan,” he said.

The team:

Sialkot Stallions: Shoaib Malik (captain), Abdur Rehman, Adeel Malik, Ali Khan, Bilal Hussain, Faisal Naveed, Kashif Raza, Kamran Younis, Mansoor Amjad, Mohammad Ayub, Mohammad Ali, N. Qazi, Qaisar Abbas, Sarfraz Ahmad and Shakeel Ansar.

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