Swashbuckling opener Fakhar Zaman was handed vice-captaincy role by his PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars Tuesday in a bid to groom the left-handed batsman for captaincy role.
Zaman rose to prominence during the second PSL edition this year with a feisty fifty against Karachi Kings that handed Lahore their only win – thus far - over the arch-rivals.
He was then selected in Pakistan’s T20I squad for the tour of West Indies. But it was his sensational batting during the ICC Champions Trophy in England which announced his arrival at the international stage .
Replacing out of form Ahmed Shehzad, Zaman began his ODI career with a daring 23-ball 31 against South Africa in Pakistan’s second match of the tournament. He then scored his career’s maiden half-century against Sri Lanka in what was virtually a quarter-final for Pakistan. His graph continued to rise as he scored a 57 against England – favourites to win the tournament – in the semi-final and a 114 against India in the final.
“We had made Brendon McCullum captain of our franchise because we wanted him to groom our youngsters into future captains,” Lahore Qalandars owner Fawad Rana said in a press conference in Lahore. “We had promised to provide opportunities to our youngsters to showcase their talent and now we are fulfilling it by announcing Zaman as our vice-captain.”
A former officer in Pakistan Navy, Zaman has 48 T20 contests under his belt. Speaking on the occasion, the 27-year-old said: “I am thrilled and proud to have this responsibility. I will not only learn a lot under the guidance of McCullum but also use my knowledge to guide other players.”
In a shakeup to their coaching structure, Qalandars replaced Paddy Upton with Aqib Javed as head coach. Former Afghanistan coach Kabir Khan was announced as Javed's assistant. Atiq-uz-Zaman, former Pakistan Test player and Sui Souther Gas Cooperation's head coach, was announced as the fielding coach.
The third edition of the PSL begins from February 22. The PCB plans to organise two play-offs in Lahore and the final in Karachi in its efforts to bring top-flight cricket back in the country.