Champions League T20: Misbah-ul-Haq, Saeed Ajmal bolster Faisalabad Wolves
The current Pakistan Test and ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq will be leading domestic T20 side Faisalabad Wolves in the Champions League T20 to be held in India in September. The Pakistanis will be among four teams playing a qualifying round to make the 10-team main draw
Faisalabad, who are the Faysal Bank Super Eight T-20 Cup 2012-13 champions, will be led by Misbah-ul-Haq in the upcoming Champions League T20 qualifiers next month. Misbah had top-scored in the tournament with 206 runs in five matches.
The other stars in the side include world-class off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and Ehsan Adil, who recently played a Test (vs South Africa) and two ODI (vs Scotland and Ireland) for Pakistan. Adil is the leading wicket-taker in Pakistan's domestic T20 tournament with 12 wickets.
It was Sialkot Stallions who represented Pakistan in the CLT20 last year. They could not make it to the main draw after losing in the qualifying stage.
Faisalabad will have to go through a similar qualifier if they harbour any hopes of making it to the main round. The other teams competing in the qualifiers are Otago Volts (New Zealand's HRV Cup champions), Sunrisers Hyderabad (fourth-ranked team in IPL 2013) and Kandurata Maroons, the winners of Sri Lanka's domestic T20 competition.
Given the current diplomatic relationship between India and Pakistan, Faisalabad may face a 'political' hurdle. While the BCCI cleared Sialkot to play in the previous edition held in South Africa, it remains to be seen whether the Pakistanis get visas since the tournament will be played in India.
Sialkot Stallions had qualified for the inaugural 2008 event that was eventually cancelled due to the Mumbai terror attacks. No Pakistan side was allowed to participate in the first three editions - 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Faisalabad Wolves squad: Misbah-ul-Haq, Asif Ali, Ali Waqas, Khuram Shahzad, Muhammad Salman, Waqas Masood, Sami Ullah Kham Niazi, Asad Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Ehsan Adil, Hassan Mahmood, Rana Jahandad Khan, Farrukh Shahzad, Imran Khalid, Ammar Mahmood Khan