Multan Sultans: Iftikhar Ahmed becomes Sultan

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Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board

Multan Sultans’ trade with Quetta Gladiators brings one of the most sought after T20 all-rounders in the camp along with the first platinum pick for Rilee Rossouw and a silver round one pick

• It is an honour for me to represent the people of Multan as their passion for this game is second to none, says Iftikhar

• Captain Muhammad Rizwan: Excited to welcome Iftikhar who brings outstanding skills that a champion team desires

• This is definitely one of the biggest trade deals in the history of the HBL PSL, and I am delighted to welcome Iftikhar Ahmed in our camp, says head coach Abdul Rehman

• Chief executive Ali Tareen: Iftimania is the best middle order hitter in Pakistan and aligns with our focus on developing and protecting a domestic core

• I am sure our passionate and cricket-loving fans will be over the moon when we announce our complete retention list in due course, says Hijab Zahid

In what is the most surprising move of the HBL Pakistan Super League 9 trade window, Multan Sultans, the franchise with the best win-percentage (55.22) in the history of the tournament, have snapped Iftikhar Ahmed.

The trade deal with Quetta Gladiators also sees Multan Sultans get the first pick in the platinum round one in exchange for Rilee Rossouw and the first Silver category pick.

Iftikhar has evolved into a formidable all-rounder for his power-hitting and foxy off-spin. He brings an experience of 229 T20 matches in which he has scored 4,476 runs. He also has a century in the format to go with 30 half-centuries. Since the start of his career in October 2010, the muscular batter has been smashing a boundary every 6.75 balls. He is only one wicket away from reaching the 50-wicket landmark and his economy stands at 7.28.

Iftikhar Ahmed: “I am delighted to become a Sultan. It is an honour for me to represent the people of Multan as their passion for this game is second to none. Multan Sultans have evolved into a strong team and their record in the last three seasons speak for itself. Now, it is my ambition to help them bag the prestigious HBL PSL trophy.

“Sultans, #IftiMania aapki team mein araha hay!”

Captain Muhammad Rizwan: “I am very excited to welcome Iftikhar Ahmed. He brings outstanding all-round skills, which we need to be a champion team.

“It was not only his on-field skills that made us finalise this trade, but he is also a brilliant team player who uplifts dressing rooms with his presence. We are eager to put together a set of players whose skills are in sync with our positive, bold and aggressive brand of cricket.”

Head coach Abdul Rehman: “This is definitely one of the biggest trade deals in the history of the HBL PSL, and I am delighted to welcome Iftikhar Ahmed in our camp. I have seen Iftikhar grow into a fabulous cricketer and considering the match-winner he has become, every coach wants to have him in his team.

“Our philosophy is to develop a strong domestic core of cricketers and Iftikhar fits that perfectly. He provides tremendous value to any T20 side with his power hitting in the middle-order and that is the reason why we were keen on getting him on our side. He has also turned into a useful off-spinner who you can rely on to provide you breakthroughs in any phase of the innings.

“We will definitely miss Rilee Rossouw who has been an outstanding team player and has had a great role in taking us to where this franchise is today. Rilee was our Mr dependable and whenever we wanted him to deliver, he got the job done for us. We wish Rilee well for everything that is ahead of him.”

Chief executive Ali Khan Tareen: “Multan Sultans have always had experienced and aggressive batters in the middle order and that has been one of the keys to our success. With our focus on developing and protecting a domestic core, Iftikhar Ahmed aka Iftimania is the best middle order hitter in Pakistan. He adds destructive power against spin and pace and brings calmness with years of experience.

“I also want to thank Rilee Rossouw for giving us some incredible memories. While he will not be in our dressing room this season, we will definitely remember him for his services to the franchise. Wherever he will go, he will always be remembered for his time at Multan Sultans, as once you become a Sultan, you always stay a Sultan.”

General Manager Hijab Zahid: “After putting together a highly professional, knowledgeable and skillful coaching staff, we are now committed to getting together the best set of players. I am sure our passionate, cricket-loving fans will be over the moon when we announce our complete retention list in due course.

Iftikhar further added, “I want to thank Ali Bhai for his trust in me.”

Ali responded, “Bhai?”

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