Rawalpindi: Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, who led his hometown Sialkot to their seventh national Twenty20 title on Sunday, is disappointed over his team not being given a chance to represent Pakistan in the Champions League T20.
"It is disappointing and sad that Sialkot, who are such a terrific Twenty20 outfit, have never got an opportunity to represent Pakistan in the Champions League and prove their worth against the domestic Twenty20 champions of other countries," Malik said after the final win against Karachi Dolphins.
He said except for the first edition of the Champions League, when Sialkot were due to play in the event, they had been constantly ignored by the organisers of the Champions League. "We have proven ourselves to be the best T20 side in Pakistan domestic cricket and I think the players deserve a chance to play against the best and prove themselves," Malik said.
He said the financial incentives on offer in the Champions League were encouraging for any team. "I hope this year the Pakistan Cricket Board also follows this up with the organisers and efforts are made to give Sialkot Stallions a chance to represent their country in the Champions League," he said.
Eight top teams qualify from the National Twenty20 Championship for the lucrative Super Eights competition, which ended on Sunday. Sialkot Stallions, which have been captained by Malik since T20 cricket started in Pakistan domestic cricket, now hold both the national T20 and Super Eights titles.
Malik pointed out that the last Champions League had thrown up new talent for other teams and the same could be true for Pakistan. "We have some exciting young players in our team and they deserve a chance to play in the Champions League and prove themselves," he stated.