Gifts kept coming down on the Pakistan Super League champion Lahore Qalandars well into the night, hours after the official award ceremony, last week. The franchise owners were setting new standards for Lahore’s renowned magnanimity after successfully retaining the title, a feat never before achieved. These were unheard-of winning incentives in any T20 league, including cash bonuses, iPhones, and property plots for the entire team. even the Indian Premier League, a billion-dollar trend-setting tournament.
According to the player’s performances, the windfall was equitable. Man of the Match in the PSL ’23 final and captain Lahore’s new landowners were Shaheen Afridi, the season’s top wicket-taker, Fakhar Zaman, and Rashid Khan. They each got 3 canals, or about 1,500 square meters, in the Lahore neighborhood of Qalandar City, which was developed by the team owners. A farmhouse in this gated neighborhood will also have the name “Afridi” on it.
The generous owners of Qalandars are the Rana brothers, Atif and Sameen. Once his team won the championship once more, Sameen returned to Vancouver, Canada, where he and his family live.
Although though he is exhausted after the lengthy travel from Lahore, he finds it simple to find the motivation to tell about his amazing journey and real estate gifts.
It’s what a family member does. We reward your child or sibling with a watch or phone if they get the best grade on their class examinations. It’s a kind act that makes others feel wonderful. The iPhone and plots are similar in that they are both unique but emotional ideas. Our crew is all about emotions, you know,” explains Sameen.
The videos created by the Qalandars social media team help to translate Sameen’s words into visual. Shaheen, Rashid, and Fakhar, three celebrities, do appear happy, but the less well-known Qalandars’ faces are shining with unbridled joy.
Even the elite of Pakistan would find it outrageous to consider owning land in Lahore. Malang, the team’s masseuse, goes into a martial arts performance out of pure delight. There are guffaws, catcalls, and of course, spontaneous bhangra. The Qalandar dressing room could also serve as a Lahore living room during a Huge Fat Punjabi wedding. Uncles and cousins were joking around and enjoying each other’s company.
The Ranas have gathered a group of funny men from many cultures. It took time and effort to build this champion side that is evenly matched. These lads have been through trying times. They failed to get past the group stage in five of the first six PSLs.
The vicious Lahore fans wanted the removal of coach Aquib Javed.
Even the owners weren’t spared. They were branded as outcasts. Sameen is a chartered accountant whose 25-year chosen career from accountant to chief financial officer (CFO) included stops at prestigious global corporations like Schlumberger, Royal Dutch Shell, Oman Oil Company, and General Electric.
Sameen was the team manager, a point man in the dugout, dressing room, and team bus when his elder brother Atif, a wealthy businessman dealing in lubricants, purchased the PSL franchise. He had returned to Pakistan from his base in Canada at that time. Everyone—including his family—blamed him for the dismal start because he was the team’s public face. The early and hasty judgment was that Sameen was too pleasant of a person to manage the Pakistan cricket team.
“I would love, support, and expect participants to act in keeping with their skills. I was told that managing cricket players in Pakistan couldn’t be done in this way. Sameen was acting strangely in a system where franchise owners were regarded to be lords and masters. He was attempting to be a brother or friend. He tried changing his work process when results weren’t coming, but it didn’t work.
Change in approach
Around Season 4, Sameen chose to be genuine. He had been instilled with the resolve very early in life. All because of a song from the Amir Khan movie Rangeela in the 1990s and a little boy’s impressionable mind.
Sameen can remember words. “Duniya mein jo jeene ke andaaz ko na jaane; maathe ya haathon pe, Chaand ya taaron mein, kismat ko dhoondhe, par khud mein kya hai yeh na jaane,” he recites the philosophical lines that are about the futility of looking around in the search of the proper path of life when the answer resides within.
Sameen shares what he’s learned after his dramatic brush with the cricket. “There is no right or wrong; the issue arises when consumers attempt to imitate widely used winning formulas. We struggle with who we are and strive to become who we are not. Yet success is possible when you know what you believe in and stick to it, he says.
The success of the Qalandars could be an example for other teams competing for titles in the T20 jungle. The Lahore franchise has shown that short-term, ambitious businessmen are unable to maintain success. What works is emotional investment, stability, hand-picking individuals who share your values, and going above and above to treat the team like family.
Interesting was Qalandars’ reversal. It speaks about how the team’s fortunes were dramatically altered by “two words.” Originally, Main hun Qalandar was the team’s slogan, used by Sameen (I am Qalandar). Sameen began to feel as though something was missing at the end of Season 4. He reasoned that the slogan needed more heart and emotion. The team’s new motto, Main hun Qalandar, Dil se, was thus born.
“We sought out players who were devoted to the Qalandar name. It had to be more than just a professional relationship. We were looking for “dil se” players. David Wiese was the first individual who caught my eye, claims Sameen.