Qasim Khan Suri, Deputy Speaker National Assembly, has objected to overlooking local cricketers from Quetta in PSL Franchise Quetta Gladiators. He called it sheer discrimination and injustice to the aspiring young cricketers from Quetta who have the potential to compete at the national level.
He demanded greater representation of local cricketers in Quetta Gladiators to support the people of the less developed province, Balochistan. However, the article shared by Qasim Khan Suri claimed that the management of Quetta Gladiators repudiated the offer of Balochistan’s sports ministry to include local players in the team. He said the QG administration threatened that if forced, they would change the name of Quetta Gladiators to Charsadda Gladiators.
According to the report, the provincial sports ministry also expressed displeasure for excluding the venue of Quetta PSL 5 despite the entire fifth edition happening in Pakistan, with matches scheduled in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Rawalpindi.
’جب ہم نے گلیڈی ایٹرز کے مالکان پر زور دیا کہ وہ کوئٹہ سے زیادہ کھلاڑیوں کو شامل کریں تو وہ کہنے لگے کہ اگر آپ زیادہ زور دیں گے تو میں کوئٹہ گلیڈی ایٹرز کا نام تبدیل کر کے چارسدہ گلیڈی ایٹرز رکھ دوں گا۔‘
— Qasim Khan Suri (@QasimKhanSuri) February 12, 2020
To record the protest, none of the officials from the provincial sports ministry of Balochistan attended the kit inauguration ceremony of Quetta Gladiators held in a shopping mall in Quetta recently. The provincial government has even refused to endorse the team in protest. Provincial Sports Secretary issued an official statement barring officials from attending the ceremony.
Currently, only one player from Quetta is part of the squad of Quetta Gladiators. Only two players from Quetta have been given the chance earlier to play in the team. Hence, the Balochistan government ministry has decided to organize a separate Balochistan Premier League to address the discrimination against the people of Quetta and show that local players are capable enough to play at an international and national level.
Expressing disappointment, an official from the Balochistan government said that last time Quetta Gladiators received a warm reception on their arrival in the city when they came after winning PSL 4 but this state-protocol was declined to them when they arrived in the city for the kit inauguration ceremony.
The notable players part of Quetta Gladiators are Ahmad Shahzad, Sarfraz Ahmad, and Shane Watson.