The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
SOUTH Africa based Zimbabwe cricketer, Saleem Manuel is heading off to Pakistan to play in that country’s Global Zalmi Twenty20 League taking place in Islamabad where he will be turning out for the Johannesburg Zalmi.
Manuel, a product of Gifford High School, Petra College, Northerns Cricket Academy and University of Pretoria leaves South Africa on Tuesday for a tournament which runs from 21 to 31 March.
The 27-year old, who turns out for Kempton Park Cricket is thrilled to be going to Pakistan.
“It’s such an overwhelming feeling to play in such a global tournament. I am excited, I can’t wait it’s going to be challenging because some of the teams have some national players in their squads,’’ Manuel said.
The left arm spinner sees his participation in the Global Zalmi League as an opportunity to get even better opportunities seeing that there is a chance to be spotted by scouts from Peshawar Zalmi who play in the just ended Pakistan Super League. Teammates
“It’s going to be a challenge and exciting to play in the sub continent, I feel very privileged and honoured to go to Pakistan and get this opportunity to play in a global tournament. There will be scouts there, that will be scouting for the Peshawar Zalmi franchise which play in the Pakistan Super League,’’ he said.
On how he got chosen by the Johannesburg Zalmi, Manuel said he was spotted while turning out for Kempton Park Jets in the Battle of the Roses, a tournament held last year in Benoni.
“We played in the club tournament where each club creates a franchise and it’s called the Battle of the Roses, I played in that tournament last year. In that tournament I got bowler of the tournament. I was approached to be part of the Johannesburg Zalmi.”
Asked if he has any ambitions of playing for Zimbabwe, Manuel, who turns 28 on 18 April, indicated that while he would love to represent the country where he was born, his focus at the moment is not on cricket since he works in the fitness industry in South Africa.
“I would love to maybe one day play for Zimbabwe, now my focus is not there, I am more involved in working in the fitness industry with a franchise called Bodytech so I got a good opportunity there, cricket is not my full focus,’’ Manuel said.
Zimbabwean international players, Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza were part of the Pakistan Premier which ended last Sunday and was won by Quetta Gladiators.