Quetta Gladiators head coach –Moin Khan believes that the absence of his top overseas stars costs them the first eliminator of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2018 to Peshawar Zalmi on 20 March in Lahore.
He also said that they lost the team balance which is very important to win the matches after the foreign players refused to travel to Pakistan for the playoffs. Former Pakistan skipper further said that the franchisees should only pick overseas players who have the consent to visit Pakistan for the T20 tournament as their refusal affects the country's image.
However, the coach said that the team has made few unnecessary mistakes which upset their chances in the PSL, but he is happy with his team’s performance and the spirit they have shown in the tournament.
As per Cricbuzz, Moin Khan told reporters, “We, in the coming season, should only pick players who have the consent to visit Pakistan. We do not need to push for individuality as our league has now become a bigger brand and now we need to go on and think about the teams. So going into the future, we don't need to get these players who don't want to come to Pakistan. In fact, this is hurting Pakistan as it is sending a negative signal and affects our country's image as well.”
Former Pakistan skipper further added, “Their refusal on visiting Pakistan sends a false impression that we are an unsafe country, but I am pretty sure we are a safe country and they should come here and play. I personally feel we eventually shouldn't be dependent on these players. If somebody respects Pakistan and the image of the country, he should come and play this league.”
Quetta's PSL 2018 campaign ends with their 1-run defeat to Peshawar Zalmi, and Moin said that the refusal of the overseas players have broken the team combination and their strength, which made things difficult for the side. He also said that some unnecessary shots against Zalmi cost them the match.
Moin stated, "[I am] feeling hurt as a head coach. It was a good match in terms of entertainment but we made mistakes and a few unnecessary shots were played. But overall your combination is broken...it happens because Shane Watson didn't come despite committing and about KP we always knew he wouldn't be coming to Pakistan. So the problem is very obvious and otherwise, we are not really choking because we were without our right combination and our strength was broken so we were nowhere.”
Moin signed off by saying, “Even today, our one overseas player - Thisara Perera - he joined us at a time when we were making our way to the ground and he landed in Lahore after three connections from Colombo to Dubai to Karachi to Lahore. Tom [Kohler-Cadmore] and Mahmudullah landed earlier this morning.
No matter how big a player you are, your body needs rest. We had discussed in our team meeting that we don't need to depend on our overseas players, and have to show our commitment and take responsibility as a team. Winning and losing is a part of the game but I am happy that we still managed to stretch the game in the end and we had a close finish.”