JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN
Published — Thursday 17 January 2013
Last update 16 January 2013 11:26 pm
Pakistan cricket star Shahid Afridi, who is currently in the Kingdom to select talented cricketers, conducted selection trials in Jeddah in a transparent manner at the Hala Academy Cricket Ground in Al-Aziziyah yesterday.
During the week-long trials in the Kingdom, Afridi is scheduled to visit Riyadh and Dammam also for talent hunt under the sponsorship and initiative of Saudi Cricket Center (SCC).
The two-day selection trial now being held here is divided into two phases. The trials were held for the age group between 15 to 19-years.
Today it will be held for seniors, 20 years and above. Over 100 hopefuls as bowlers, batsmen and all-rounders from different schools, cricket clubs from Madinah, Yanbu and Jeddah. Afridi will have to select 50 from the various centers in the Kingdom, said Hamid Afandi, manager operations, Saudi Cricket Center.
Afridi told Arab News, “That he was very happy to see so many children on the ground and thanked Allah for the talent he has that can help him easily find out the best talent among the players.” I’m proud to lead the talent promotion across the Kingdom. I will do my utmost to identify prospective cricketers who have the skills and the determination to become outstanding players for the Saudi national team, said Afridi.
He also said that process is not a difficult one as he will select the players according to their performance in bowling, batting after they faced a few balls and on their body language in given time.
The Saudi Arabian team that plays under the Saudi Cricket Center (SCC) are performing well. But still there is a lot more talent, which needs to be hunted and I’m here today doing that treasure hunt, said Afridi.
This talent hunt is an excellent idea and challenge, I am sure Saudi Arabia also has excellent cricket players, it’s just needs to bring out the best and capable youth into the limelight.
It will give a chance to the youth of all nationalities who love cricket to show their talent. Our plan is select the best on the basis of their performance. This campaign is a positive sign toward the goals of SCC and their mission, said Afridi.
He further said that, this would give a chance to the Saudi youth to show their talent and shine at the horizon of the Kingdom and at the international level. My job during this campaign will be to check the capability of the boys, on how much ability and potential they have to play cricket and take the name of the country to new heights. I will share my experience with them and go according to age category for the selection. I will do my best during this selection of the best talent hunt, by putting all my experience and efforts. I am fully aware of it, the rest depends on the SCC’s role on how and what they do. We will make sure that this new team will be able to compete not only at the national level, but on an international level as well, he added.
The talent selection is done on a trial basis without discrimination of nationality and religion, where the participants are given a chance to show their talent and abilities in bowling and batting.