PSL 5 You Have Us!
Pakistan Super league is around the corner and everyone in the country is excited about it. If you’re new to the game but dying to jump into the action, we have PSL5 in a nutshell for you. Read on and become a pro on what’s there to know about Pakistan Super League! Here’s our quick take on the 6 teams involved and what to look out for.
The Two Captains for Kings
Babar Azam is the best T20 batsman, not only in the Karachi Kings squad, but also in the whole wide world if we go by the ICC rankings.
Babar has been appointed as the Captain of Pakistan National T20 team, so it was suspected that he may take over the arm band from Imad Wasim.
However, Kings have maintained their faith in Imad Waseem, and Babar will be the vice Captain. It would be interesting to see how these two get along. Any friction between the two won’t be great for the Kings.
Moreover, we look forward to how Mohammed Amir can convince selectors to give him another go at the top level with so many new pacers emerging in Pakistan cricket.
The Wounded Gladiators
Quetta Galadiators have performed rather well in the PSL, and again they seem to possess a decent squad with players who have a lot to prove.
Umar Akmal and Ahmad Shahzad made a brief come back to the international T20 eleven, but they were discarded just after one game. They have a point to prove, and they will be hurting to do so, but no one will be hurting as much as Sarfaraz.
Oops – latest updates suggest Umar will not be playing in today’s match (and for the rest of the tournament) as PCB investigate him. No more on that till we hear from them. For now, Gladiators are struggling to find a new team member. Could it be Haris Sohail? Any guesses?
This is Sarfraz’s first chance to shine after being laid off, amid immense public scrutiny, as the Captain of the national team. These modern day Gladiators will step into the arena with a point to prove, and their fans will be screaming their heads off when they do!
Darren Sammy Khan, as he is fondly referred to by many Zalmi fans, is the man of the moment! He may not speak much Pashto, but he is the most eloquent when it comes to instilling passion into Zalmi supporters.
Zalmi have performed amazingly well over the years in PSL, and they have in their midst the highest PSL run scorer (Kamran Akmal) and the highest wicket taker (Wahab Riaz) in PSL.
Zalmis have arguably the most explosive lower order which includes Pollard and Brathwaite.
Sammy also hits a long ball so fans will be in for a treat if Zalmi get going in the back end of the innings.
Dama Dama Mast
Lahore Qalandars seem to be over their fascination with packing their side with big name players at the top. No AB, no Brandon.
But, they still have Fakhar and Lynn, who can offer them a brisk start.
Qalandars also possess a very good pace battery probably the best in the league. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Shinwari and Haris Rauf, fresh from his exploits from Big Bash League will be a threat to any batting line up.
Point to note, and a sore one indeed: Lahore have never been able to perform up to their potential. This time, though, they will be aiming to set the record straight, and it will be fascinating to see how they go about it.
United We Stand
Islamabad United are the most successful franchise in the league, and they will be going for their third title.
They have in their ranks, a leggie who can bat (Shadab), a pacer who can hit (Faheem), a batsman who can really hit (Asif), and they will be relying on these three to do a lot of work.
The have the power of Ronchi, Munro and the pace of Musa.
They have Ammad Butt who with his chiselled abs and a flare for a good work-out, is a poster boy for fitness in the United squad.
They also have a prize in the form of Dawid Malan who is ranked the no. 3 T20 batsman,
The burning question: Will United win their third title, or will they have to settle for less this time around? The pressure’s on for sure!
After a not so convincing season last year, Multan Sultans have made a few changes to their squad in PSL 5.
The most surprising is, that they have made Shan Masood their captain. Shan Masood comes across as a very intelligent cricketer, and he speaks in a calm composed manner.
The only problem is, that he is not the first man who comes to mind as a T20 player, (but Multan management must have seen something which we haven’t). Let’s wait and see what unfolds in the games to follow!
Multan are probably the most low-key team in the league, but to make things even they got themselves the biggest star in Pakistan cricket – a certain Shahid Afridi.
On the batting front, they have Rilee Russow, Ravi Bopara and James Vince.
They have a decent bowling line up which will be led by Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan.
It’s very hard to set these teams apart and place a clear favourite, and that only adds to the flair of the competition. The biggest celebs in the nation will be ambassadors of these teams, and as the PSL 5 Cricket Cranival kicks off on the 20th. February, don’t miss the opening ceremony in Karachi which will be lit with colours and passion!
May the best team win!
Basit, a medical doctor by profession, and a sportsman by heart lives in Turku, Finland. He is interested in working out, reading Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels, learning Medicine (now in Finnish) and loves exploring diverse perspectives. He is a cricket lover at heart and plays Club Cricket in Summer. He is interested in writing in general and on cricket in particular.