Lahore: The preparations of Pakistan's domestic T20 champions, Sialkot Stallions for the Champions League have been hit by a decision of the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint former Test player, Colonel (retd) Naushad Ali as the team's manager for the event in South Africa.
The Sialkot Cricket Association has openly expressed its concern over PCB's decision to change the manager of the Stallions for the Champions League, scheduled to take place from October 9 to 28.
"No doubt it has affected our preparations as the situation is still unclear and we have been unable to plan our preparations for such a big event," the President of the Sialkot Cricket Association, Zulfiqar Malik said.
Malik said the board's decision to replace Sialkot region's manager, Naeem Akhtar with Naushad is unjust as the latter has held several important positions in the board and also managed the national senior and A teams on tours before.
The Sialkot outfit led by the former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik will first play in the qualifying round against Auckland Aces (New Zealand) and Hampshire (England) on October 9 and 11 to make it to the main round of the the League.
Malik said while Sialkot's squad will remain the same that won the national title, the change of the manager has caused uncertainty.
Stating that the players are not feeling good about the change, Malik said, "The team has won the national T20 title four times when he was manager and that says a lot for his excellent relations with the players.
"I requested that if the change is inevitable, then we should have Naeem as an assistant manager but the PCB turned it down."
The PCB officials, meanwhile, made it clear that the decision was final and a training camp for the Stallions under Naushad would start later this month for the Champions League.
A PCB source said that the Board had decided to bring in its own manager for the Champions League to ensure discipline and keep an eye on players during the event.