KATHMANDU, Feb 25: The defending champion Lalitpur Patriots have signed three Pakistani players to complete its foreign quota of four for the upcoming season of the Everest Premier League (EPL), which will be held from March 14 to 28.
Earlier, the Patriots had announced the marquee signing of Sri Lankan Upul Tharanga. As per the mandatory provision, all the participating teams need to have a minimum of three foreign players in their 16-member squad and playing XI.
All-rounders Hammad Azam, Hassan Khan and left-arm seamer Mir Hamza will play for the Patriots in the premier Twenty20 cricket tournament, according to a press statement issued by the Patriots on Monday. Hamza’s last overseas stint was with the Sussex County Cricket Club during the County Championship 2019 in England.
Meanwhile, Hassan has featured in the Pakistan Super League representing Quetta Gladiators in 2018 and Lahore Qalandars in 2019 before missing out on the current season. Last year, he was part of the Edmonton Royals in Canada’s Global T20 League. He was also named as the captain of Pakistan's squad for the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018.
Azam has played exceptionally well in the domestic leagues and was also named the best all-rounder of the 2019 Pakistan Cup, after scoring 144 runs and taking nine wickets.
Raju Basnyat, the Patriots head coach, is happy to have a balanced team with variety of foreign players available with different roles. Similarly, he expressed confidence that Patriots will retain the EPL title.
“It brings a great balance into the squad and with our very own boys too doing exceptionally well in recent tournaments, we sure are the favorites this time as well. I am very happy with my now confirmed team, it’s very balanced.”