Pakistan Super League which was a fantasy a couple of years back when this idea was coined by PCB chairman Naseem Ashraf but it is now the next big thing for Pakistan Cricket thanks to Najam Sethi and Shahryar Khan for resurrecting this idea to stage a international level domestic league as every Test playing nation (except Zimbabwe) have launched it’s own league even Bangladesh has done it before Pakistan.
Even this time PCB faced many hurdles in launching PSL as Pakistan is currently a no go area for foriegn players so it was a infeasible idea to play this league in Pakistan and UAE was staging MCL (Masters Champions League) at the same time. Qatar was considered as the second option for some time but than Emirates Cricket Board slotted in PSL with MCL.
PSL comprises of 5 teams lets review the strength and weaknesses of the squads:
Lahore Qalandars: One can easily say it is the most explosive batting line up of the competition players like Chris Gayle, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood with some busy players like Mohammad Rizwan and Dwayne Bravo this kind of batting line ups can chase any kind of total.
Lahore bowling line is a concern for them as they have the most in-experienced bowlers like Mustafizur Rahman and Zia-ul-Haq this shows clearly that they have invested in their batting lineup.
1 Chris Gayle 2 Cameron Delport 3 Azhar Ali 4 Umar Akmal 5 Dwayne Bravo 6 Mohammad Rizwan 7 Hammad Azam 8 Yasir Shah 9 Mustafizur Rahman 10 Zafar Gohar 11 Zia ul Haq 12.Adnan Rasool 13.Naved Yasin 14.Zohaib Khan 15.Kevon Cooper 16.Sohaib Maqsood
Supplementary picks: Imran Butt, Ehsan Adil, Mukhtar Ahmed, Abdul Razzaq
Peshawar Zalmi: The team with the most flamaboyant players like Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy Peshawar paid Islamabad United a large amount to bid first in the auction obviously to pick Afridi their captain.
Peshawar didn’t picked a genuine spinner other than Abdur Rehman whose form is a big concern this can be thier weakest link if Afridi and Abdur Rehman both failed to deliver.
1 Kamran Akmal, 2 Tamim Iqbal, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Darren Sammy, 5 Musadiq Ahmed, 6 Shahid Yousuf, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10, Abdur Rehman, 11 Junaid Khan 12. Jim Allenby 13.Aamer Yamin 14.Dawid Malan 15.Imran Khan Jr 16.Hasan Ali
Supplementary picks: Mohammad Asghar, Brad Hodge, Israrullah, Taj Wali
Quetta Gladiators: The most economical franchise of PSL snapped the most iconic player of the tournament Kevin Pieterson along with wicket keeper batsmen Sarfaraz Ahmed and Luke Wright.
Their fast bowling can be a concern as those days are long gone when Umar Gul used to dominate the T20 format and Jason Holder failed to acquire the NOC from West Indies Cricket Board.
1. Ahmed Shahzad 2. Luke Wright 3. Kevin Pietersen 4. Elton Chigumbura, 5. Sarfraz Ahmed (capt) 6. Saad Nasim 7. Akbar-ur-Rehman 8. Jason Holder 9. Anwar Ali 10. Zulfiqar Babar 11. Umar Gul 12.Mohammad Nawaz 13.Mohammad Nabi 14.Bilal Asif 15.Asad Shafiq 16.Bismillah Khan
Supplementary picks: Kumar Sangakkara, Aizaz Cheema, Rameez Raja Jnr
Islamabad United: The most complete package of all the PSL teams with good selection of world class all- rounders (Shane Watson & Andre Russel) which can come quite handy in T20 cricket. Misbah-ul-haq will be the back bone of the middle order along with young talented players like Babar Azam & Sam Billings, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Irfan can dent the oppositions batting lineup with a burst of fiery spells.
Their weakest link can possibly be Brad Haddin because at the age of 38 you can’t expect much from him.
1 Shane Watson, 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq, 5 Umar Amin, 6 Sam Billings, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Kamran Ghulam, 9 Samuel Badree, 10 Mohammad Irfan, 11 Ruman Raees 12.Ammad Butt, 13.Mohammad Sami 14.Khalid Latif 15.Brad Haddin 16.Imran Khalid
Supplementary picks: Ashar Zaidi, Saeed Ajmal, Hussain Talat, Umar Siddiq
Karachi Kings: The most expensive franchise of the tournament looks the weakest as the owners spent all their budget in buying it, it was proven when they choose to buy Sohail Tanvir from the Platinium category. Shaoib Malik and Mohammad Amir are the strongest links in the squad in their respective departments.
Bangladeshi duo of Mushfiq and Shakib can be very handy for Karachi as they both are excellent T20 players.
1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Nauman Anwar, 3 Shoaib Malik (capt), 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim 7 Sohail Tanvir, 8 Mohammad Amir, 9 Sohail Khan, 10 Mir Hamza, 11 Usama Mir 12 Imad Wasim, 13.Bilawal Bhatti 14.Nauman Anwar 15.Iftikhar Ahmed 16.Safiullah Bangash
Supplementary picks: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shahzaib Hasan, Fawad Alam
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