With the world cup just months away Pakistan Super League will also be one last chance for anyone who wants to prove its worth for the national side.
8/34 of the matches will be played in Pakistan this year. This will help in PSL’s popularity as last year turn out in stadiums in Dubai was fairly low.
Despite the likes of Junoon & Fawad Khan[Lets just not talk about the official song] already present for the opening ceremony, PCB almost gave 100m PKR to Pitbull for a 10min performance. Untill the latter backed out just this morning.
Anyways let’s start with the PSL dissection
Under the captaincy of Misbah ul haq the franchise has been the most successful team in the league’s history with a win percentage of 59.8.
However, After Misbah’s departure Muhammad Sami[now the oldest player] had put on the captains cap.
With Misbah, Duminy & Russel have also left, giving space for Ian Bell & Delport.
Islamabad United wins haven’t really depended on huge stars, as its also the franchise with most number of young talent sent to the national side.
If Salt and Ronchi are in form this can make Islamabad united’s opening most destructive this year.
Lastly, Asif Ali, Farhan. Hussain and Talat will be fighting for spot in the World Cup squad.
With the likes of Dean Jones, Waqar Younas & Saeed Ajmal in the coaching unit the boys are not going to be short in preparation.
Main focus: Shadab[2nd] & Faheem[8th & Joint leading wicket taker]
New Talent: Rizwan Hussain
Peshawar Zalmi with a win percent of 57.7 is the second most successful team of the tournament
However judging by the boys previous records, they shouldn’t be taken lightly at all
The team doesn’t only have the most successful batsman but also the most successful bowler in the squad.
With a strong overseas players unit with the likes of Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Daren Sammy (West Indies), Liam Dawson (England), Dawid Malan (England), Andre Fletcher (West Indies), Chris Jordan (England), Peshawar in a good position to win this year’s league!
Players to look out for: Kamran | Wahab
New Talent: Mehmet and Gokham from turkey
The newest team of the super league has gone through some massive changes before the start of the PSL, internally and externally.
Pollard, Sanga & Tahir have left the team
4 players were ruled out with injury including Steven Smith.
If you’re a fan don’t worry so much, Captain Shoaib Malik has been joined by Rusell & Shahid Khan Afridi, all three of whom have massive success in the t20 format.
The bowling attack will see a fight for a possible 2019 world cup spot Squad between Abbas, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan
With Fakhar not performing well recently, Shan Masood also has a golden opportunity to perform.
Players to look: Shahid Afridi | Malik
New Talent: Qais Ahmed
The Sarfraz Ahmed lead Quetta Gladiators were the runners up in the first two editions and last year were eliminated in the play-offs.
The National team captain has been an integral part of the side with some brilliant performances with the bat also in the captaincy role.
However with the departure of Keven Peterson, their strengths move from batting to bowling.
Likes of Nariane, Nawaz and Tanvir in the bowling line up and the experience of the Sarfraz, Shane Watson and DJ Bravo will definitely be giving the opposition a tough time.
I’m not going to talk about Umar Akmal & Ahmed Shehzad because what’s even the point
Players to watch: Naraine | Nawaz
New Players: M Hasnain
Mickey Arthur’s Karachi kings is probably the most balanced team of the league.
With world number 1 & 2 opening for the Kings 11, you can only just feel bad for the opposition bowlers.
To watch out for
However the key will be Imad wasim & Muhamamd Amir as they have an economy less then 6 in the first 6.
Also the experienced Ingram and Bopara can’t be overlooked. Shinwari would be looking to forget his performance in T20s in SA.
Players to look: Amir & Imad
New Players: Umer Khan & Abrar Ahmed.
Last but not the least, the heart & soul of PSL; Fawad Rana owned Lahore Qalandars!
This franchise has to be the most Pakistani Franchise in the league.
Despite having the worst win/ratio in T20 franchise cricket history, they have pulled off some great performances
Professor Hafeez has been appointed as the 3rd captain of Lahore Qalandar and with AB Develliers, Brathwaite ,Anderson and Fakhar Zaman in the batting line up they can create havoc for any bowling unit.
However with Hafeez as captain you might see 80% of the overs being bowled by spinners; as Yasir Shah, Sandeep & Hassan are also in the squad
Players to watch: Abdu| Shaheen
New Players: Sandeep | Hassan
In the end Pakistan Super League is a big win for Pakistan, cricket wise and social-economic wise. As for the competition itself goes, it’s going to be a very competitive one with many players eying 2019 world cup selection will be giving their all.