Hashim Amla. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has joined the camp of Peshawar Zalmi as the batting mentor for the fifth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The tournament is set to kick off on February 20 between defending champions Quetta Gladiators and two-time champions Islamabad United in Karachi. The tournament will begin following a glittering opening ceremony. This is also the first time that the entire PSL will be held in Pakistan.

Chairman of the Zalmi Javed Afridi praised the 36-year-old Amla as a legendary batsman and welcomed him to the franchise. The Zalmi made three successive finals since 2017 but could win the title only the first time. Last year, they lost to the Gladiators by 8 wickets in the title clash. Zalmi head coach and cricket director Mohammad Akram also expressed dissatisfaction over Amla’s arrival.

Young cricketers will learn from Hashim Amla, feels Zalmi head coach

“With the presence of Amla, our young cricketers will have a chance to learn a lot,” Geo Super quoted Akram as saying. Amla has been one of the prolific scorers for the Proteas over the years. In 124 Tests, 181 ODIs and 44 T20Is between 2004 and 2019, the right-hand opener made over 18,000 runs with 55 centuries and 80 half-centuries.

Amla had also been registered under the platinum category ahead of the PSL players’ draft but went unpicked eventually. Zalmi captain Darren Sammy also is officially the mentor. Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq will be on board as the spin-bowling consultant. It is, however, not clear whether former Pakistan captain Younis Khan will continue in his role as the mentor, which he had held in the previous seasons.

The opening ceremony of PSL 2020 will be held at the National Stadium and is expected to kick off at 5 pm local time. The local fans are excited ahead of the edition this year since the entire tournament will be held in Pakistan which had remained sidelined as the hosts for over a decade till Sri Lanka went there for a full-fledged series followed by Bangladesh.