Yorkshire, PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars enters into partnership

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) on Wednesday announced to sign a partnership with Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Lahore Qalandars, which will include a player exchange programme to enable international players to learn from each other.

As part of the deal, Pakistan’s Haris Rauf will be now joining Yorkshire as an overseas player.

The county said that it wants to “learn from and emulate Lahore Qalandars’ Players Development Program (PDP)” which looks to scout and upskill players from across Pakistan.

The deal will also see scholarships for young, aspiring players from Yorkshire who will be travelling, training, and playing in Lahore, including access to the Qalandars’ first-class facilities, as well as opportunities for young people from Pakistan to come to Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, the two sides also announced to play a friendly game on January 16, 2022 in Lahore at the Ghaddafi Stadium which will serve as an opportunity for Yorkshire players to meet their Qalandars counterparts, and to lay the foundations for future years of knowledge sharing between the two clubs.

Commenting on the partnership, Professor The Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, Chair of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “The work the Lahore Qalandars do both on and off the pitch is remarkable and can serve as a benchmark for clubs around the world – ours included – for how best to spot, foster and support talent at all levels in the game of cricket.”

“The Players Development Program is an incredible achievement – breaking the mould for how teams can be created within our sport, and demonstrating that through offering access and support, great cricketing talent can be found from all backgrounds,” he added.

Meanwhile, Darren Gough, interim Managing Director of Yorkshire Cricket said: “I am thrilled to welcome the exceptionally talented Haris Rauf to our club. I am also excited by the opportunity to learn from the inspirational Players Development Program. I have spoken in the past about my passion for developing accessible pathways to cricket – for many people from a background like mine, cricket isn’t seen as an option, with the associated costs and access to facilities creating real barriers to entry.”

“This partnership is an opportunity to take the blueprint the Qalandars has developed to such a success and work with them to define how that can be used to provide access for potential players from across Yorkshire,” he added.

On the other hand, Sameen Rana, Chief Operating Officer, Lahore Qalandars expressed: “We are incredibly proud of our Players Development Program and our wider team in Lahore. The Program has had an immensely positive impact on both our club and those involved. We are looking forward to working with Darren, Lord Patel and the team as they look to create an inclusive and welcoming culture for all at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.”

Notably, the Qalandars have a similar partnership with Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Stars.

News Desk

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