At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Cordoba was sent home with a sour taste in their mouths after a loss at the hands of Medina in the championship game. Despite a slow start to the season last year, it seemed as though Cordoba managed to figure out the keys to success to make a successful playoff run. However, GM Yousaf Choudhry knows that it will take alot more offensive prowess, and certainly some improved defense, in order to take home the coveted championship trophy in 2019. With 2018 MVP candidate Ahmad Ammad being taken as the first overall pick, Yousaf knew he was not going to land his best offensive player from last year at the fourth pick. In the weeks leading up to the draft, Cordoba traded away their first round pick to Medina in exchange for an early second round pick, as well as another pick late in the draft. Cordoba's draft strategy was simple: add offensive depth at any cost, and on paper it certainly indicates that they did a fine job.
Aside from the big bats of Yousaf Choudhry and Bilal Javed, Khuram Channa and Umair Wasim hold some promise after a stellar end to the 2018 campaign. Umair Wasim will specifically peak the interest of fans after being named the Finals MVP during Medina's historic championship run last season. Cordoba was also able to land Suleman Mann, who is a rookie to the league this season. However, after playing BSL winter ball and attending the pre-season combine, scouts are saying this guy is no rookie to the game, particularly from a defensive perspective should he be used appropriately. Saad Hasnain and Zaid Ghansar join Cordoba as a pair of teammates from 2018, where they played integral roles during Cairo's regular season. As always, Zaid brings a defensive skill set at first base which is among the league's best, and he also led the league in walks last year. Meanwhile, although Saad's defensive capabilities are up for debate, he surely has some offensive potential, showing glimpses of it during last season and even hitting a grand slam on one occasion.
On the pitching front, Cordoba chose to stick to their 2018 ace, Hamza Waheed. Last year, Hamza had an up and down season but was able to lead the team to the championship game. It was uncertain whether Hamza would be playing this season, as he spent most of the offseason in the west coast. However, he's back now and it will soon be seen if he brings a cool and collected west-coast vibe to the mound this season.
Cordoba's goal this season will obviously be to return to the championship game, which is no easy task. Despite losing one of their biggest bats in
Ahmad Ammad, they should feel confident on the offensive side of the ball, boasting a lineup with a fair amount of depth. However, on the defensive side of the ball there does appear to be some room for improvement. Yousaf, Zaid and Suleman will likely contend among the league's best on defense. However, aside from that, Cordoba's defensive strengths are not evident on paper, with their only former gold glover being at the catcher position, Khawar Anwar. With that said, however, GM Yousaf has proven himself to be able to take a team to the championship game and we wouldn't put it passed him to coach up his guys for another long and successful season!