Named after the sprawling Egyptian capital city, team Cairo comes into the inaugural season of BSL Nights with some promise, but also with some big question marks. Initially joining the league as a player, Yasser Malik took the job as GM with the ultimate goal of solidifying himself in BSL management lore after a somewhat disappointing offensive campaign in the 2016 BSL Sunday league. Team Cairo began making moves right out of the gate by signing BSL rookie/mystery man Ali Chaudhry as the assistant GM. The team further hit the league jackpot by solidifying the first overall pick in the draft, which quickly became a point of intimidation for Medina assistant Hassan Chaudhry, who was vacationing with Malik at the time.
Draft Analysis: Cairo made some bold moves during the first few rounds of the draft, highlighted by selecting multi-talented baseball/softball veteran Miqdad Jaffer. Jaffer looks to make a strong return to the BSL community and will be looked upon to mentor some of the new talent on the team. Cairo also decided to take a sure bet first baseman in Zaid Ghansar, who Malik grew fond of dating back to when they shared the fields as Ayyubids in BSL 2016. Rounding out the first few rounds of the draft, Cairo selected highly recruited Lahore prospect Shamil. However, in a desperation move Lahore quickly sent rookie outfielder Abdullah Akhtar to Cairo in exchange for Shamil, a move that time will dictate the impact of moving forward.
Strengths/Weaknesses: Cairo looks to build their success on defense. With a strong trio of outfielders in Jaffer, Malik and Akhtar. In addition, their infield will be anchored by ultra-athletic shortstop Ali Chaudhry. Zia Beg was also acquired by the team in a post draft trade, a player who's pitching resume and work ethic speak for themselves. Although a defensively sound team, Cairo (on paper at least) lacks eye-popping offensive power. Although they have several players who can regularly get on base, their power hitting will ultimately come from one, maybe two players.
X Factors: Hassaan Khan is returning from a 13 year absence from softball. However, his mind blowing offensive numbers from his past life made him too tempting for Malik and Chaudhry to pass on. If Khan can resurrect himself as the player he once was, it could be scary. Neal Irfan also sits in a unique position for team Cairo. Although he offers a safe glove, if Neal is able to consistently get on base this season it would prove to be a difference maker for team Cairo.
Rumors: After making a few draft day trades the rumor mill was somewhat quiet for team Cairo, until Yasser realized that his long time friend Farooq Sani is a player he probably should have drafted. The rumor is Yasser is trying to make a deal with Yousaf Chaudhry of team Cordoba for his childhood friend.
GM Zain Malik’s thoughts on Team Cairo: “Team Cairo seems to have the most speed in the league and will definitely utilize this to their advantage. As a team, we’re going to have to ensure our defense is up to its standards, otherwise, Cairo will burn you with their speed. By trading them Zia Beg, they also have an established pitcher now but was worth it for us to pick up Baseer & Zaki. I just hope Zia and/or Neal are not the ones who come back to bite us in the butt when playoffs roll around. Overall, I am impressed in the team they drafted but definitely see weaknesses in their fielding we can expose”.
More than a thousand years ago the Muslims conquered the Iberian Peninsula and progressed their dynasty in a new part of the world. Team Cordoba starts the inaugural season with the same enthusiasm as their ancestors. Team Cordoba is all set to conquer BSL Nights and create a legacy of their own, Yousaf Chaudhry was granted the opportunity in BSL management to step into the GM role after his successful season in the BSL Sunday league in 2017. Further, the addition of Bilal Javed as an assistant GM, slated the team in a promising position to start the draft.
Draft Analysis: Cordoba‘s draft start with a tough decision to pass on Ismail Akhtar, and select Ahmad Ahmad as their first pick. Ahmad Ahmad brings dedication and strong work ethic which will prove to be exemplary for the Team. The rest of the draft focused on a strategy that would lead the team to a promising season. A combination of veteran softball players and promising family players was a strategy deployed by the GM. Content with their draft no plans have been made for any future trades.
Strengths/Weaknesses: The primary strategy of Team Cordoba was to build a strong offense. Several players on the team have the ability to hit the long ball which can make Team Cordoba a force to be reckoned with.. However, defense can be their primary concern as all the infielders are playing their primary position for the first time. Furthermore, their outfielder also lack experience and will be relying on newly acquired talent. The team’s GM is confident in the ability of his pitcher and expects a strong overall performance to make up for fielding vulnerabilities.
X Factors: Shahid Saya and Farooq Sani are bringing extensive cricketing experience to the softball world which may prove to be a competitive advantage. If they can translate their skills and talent then they can make a significant impact on both ends of the field. In addition, Akif Waheed and Talal Hayat will need to step-up in the outfield to accommodate for the team’s lackluster defense.
Rumors: Ahmad Ahmad being a strong team player, rumours are already in play about a tailored softball workout regimen for his teammates to increase the already explosive home run power of the team. A patent on this regiment is being created with the help of Kala Law. Yasser Malik has offered a trade for Farooq Sani, however Yousaf Chaudhry seems more then content with his cricketer. There is also rumors that Abdul 'HULK' Butt wants to change the team name to Cordoba Cobra's. Only time will tell if the name will stick, or if the GM will trade him for referring to him as a snake.
GM Yasser Malik’s thoughts on team Cordoba: “Yousaf drafted a competitive team. It will always remain puzzling to me why he passed on one of the best players in the league at the second pick in the draft, setting up team Medina for slipped pick after slipped pick. However, I do have to credit him that despite some of his moves being questionable, he still produced a competitive roster. I do feel that his team has several defensive liabilities and no real depth, but I guess we’ll see when we face off with them in week 1.”