The fourth edition of Pakistan Super League is going to be played in the month of February. The tournament is scheduled to be played from 14th Feb till 17th March. The preliminary stage of the competition will be played in the UAE while the playoffs and final of the tournament will take place in Pakistan.
It is expected to get bigger this year as AB De Villiers, Steve Smith and many others will take part in this year's tournament. Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Multan Sultans, and Quetta Gladiators are six teams that will participate in this year's tournament.
Since its inception in 2016, Reigning Champions Islamabad United have dominated the proceedings and won the coveted prize on two occasions (2016 and 2018). Peshawar Zalmi lifted the trophy in 2017 when the league hosted its final in Lahore. Quetta Gladiators have been a competitive side in all the editions of the competition.
Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars are two major franchises that have been perennial underachievers in the three editions played till now. This year is going to be quite a competitive tournament as a franchise like Lahore Qalandars have made right choices in the PSL Players draft. The acquisition of Former South African batsman AB De Villiers will certainly help Lahore turn their fortunes around in the competition.
Karachi Kings also have gone for in-form players like Liam Livingston, Ben Dunk and Sikandar Raza that might help go the distance this season. Islamabad United have also made smart moves concerning selection for the coming edition of Pakistan Super League.
Let's take a closer look at all the six franchises that will be taking part in this year's competition. We will go through all the franchises, the newest acquisitions and overall squad for the coming season that starts from 14th Feb.
Peshawar Zalmi is one of the most consistent sides in the history of Pakistan Super League. The franchise has qualified for the playoffs in all the editions played till now. Last season, Darren Sammy's side suffered defeat at the hands of Islamabad United in the finals played in Karachi. The franchise was able to lift the 2017 PSL Trophy after beating Quetta Gladiators in the finals played at Gaddafi Cricket Stadium, Lahore.
Captain Darren Sammy will be hoping that the side can produce consistency with bat and ball in this year's competition. The franchise did make notable acquisitions in the PSL Players draft and picked up Misbah-ul-Haq, Sohaib Maqsood, Dawid Malan and Kieron Pollard for this season. The side has released high-profile players like Tamim Iqbal, Evin Lewis, and Shakib Al Hasan to name a few.
Former Pakistani pace bowler Mohammad Akram is the Head Coach for the Peshawar Zalmi.
In the batting department, the likes of Kamran Akmal, Dawid Malan, and Misbah-ul-Haq will need to do the bulk of the scoring for the side. Since PSL'S inception, Akmal has been premier batsman for the franchise in all three editions and scored 929 runs in 34 matches with two centuries to his name. He also played well exceedingly in the previous edition of the league and scored more than 400 runs in the competition.
The arrival of experienced players like Misbah-ul-Haq and Kieron Pollard will bolster the batting resources for the coming season. West Indies Andre Fletcher is another accomplished cricketer, who will be keen to do well in this year's competition.
All-rounder Liam Dawson has been a consistent performer for Peshawar with bat and ball. In the previous edition, Dawson chipped in with decent performances for Zalmi. He also picked up eight wickets in nine matches at an average of 30.25.
Pace duo of Umaid Asif and Sameen Gul have done an excellent job for the side in the previous two editions of Pakistan Super League. Last year, Asif picked up 13 wickets in the competition and produced excellent spells for the team.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Ibtisam Sheikh has made limited appearances for the side and been impressive with the ball in the competition. The youngster will be hoping to get more opportunities in the coming season of PSL.
Left-arm quick Wahab Riaz has topped the bowling charts for Peshawar Zalmi since the start of Pakistan Super League. He has picked up 48 wickets in 32 matches at an average of 16.50. Riaz has formed an excellent new-ball combination with Hasan Ali, who also has 26 wickets to his name in the competition.
Overseas player Chris Jordan has done well exceedingly well for the side in the competition.
Overall, Peshawar Zalmi's main issue might be their batting as middle-order will need to produce consistency for the side to go the distance this season.
Lahore Qalandars have certainly underachieved as a side in the history of Pakistan Super League. Last year, they also finished bottom of the league table and could only win three games out of ten played in the competition. The team management will look to make amends and seemed to have covered all the bases for the coming season.
The significant acquisitions made by Lahore Qalandars are high-profile players like AB De Villiers, Mohammad Hafeez, Carlos Brathwaite, Dawid Wiese and Hardis Viljeon for the coming season.
Former South Africa batsman AB De Villiers will make his first appearance in the Pakistan Super League this year. Lahore Qalandars will be hoping that De Villiers can score loads of runs in this year's competition. He seems to be in good touch with the bat and is doing well in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League.
All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been appointed as the captain of the franchise for the coming season. Lahore will undoubtedly be hoping that Hafeez's experience and good cricketing acumen will help the franchise turn the tide in this year's competition.
Fakhar Zaman has been a consistent performer for the side in the competition. In the batting department, AB De Villiers, Mohammad Hafeez, and Fakhar Zaman are premier players for the franchise. Hafeez has been in good form in the T20 format in the past six months.
Left-handed batsman Haris Sohail is another promising player, who can do well for the side in the competition. He will need to maintain his fitness in order be a part of the Playing XI.
In the all-rounder’s category, the franchise has quality players like Carlos Brathwaite, Dawid Wiese, and Corey Anderson for the coming season. It will be interesting to see whether all the three all-rounders will be available for the side for a complete season. The franchise has picked up Zimbabwe wicket-keeper batsman Brendan Taylor for the coming season. He is expected to be the first-choice keeper for the side in this year's competition.
In the bowling department, acquisition of South African pace bowler Hardus Viljoen will bolster the resources for the side for the coming season. Left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi has certainly been standout for Pakistan in recent times and would be looking to continue his form for the side in this year's tournament. Rahat Ali is another left-arm seamer, who can swing the new-ball and provide a crucial breakthrough for the side.
Despite having no Sunil Narine in their squad, Lahore will be hoping that the spin duo of Yasir Shah and Sandeep Lamichhane can form a lethal spin combination for the side in the coming season. Nepali leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and has shown good form with the ball. Qalandars will be hoping that Lamichhane can continue his rich vein of form in the coming edition of Pakistan Super League. Overall, Lahore Qalandars will be hoping that their batting comes good in this edition of PSL.
In the bowling department, the franchise certainly lacks variety as there are many similar kinds of bowlers included in the squad.
The sixth franchise in the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League will be Multan Sultans, owned by Ali Tareen, who acquired the side in December 2018. He said that the side would keep the same name for the franchise for the coming season.
Multan Sultans made their first appearance in the previous edition of Pakistan Super League. The side managed to win four games out of ten played in the competition. Captain Shoaib Malik will be looking to do better in this edition of Pakistan Super League.
The franchise has made acquisitions for the coming season as players like Laurie Evans, James Vince, Andre Russell and Dan Christian in their squad. Steven Smith will not take part in this year's competition as he has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury.
Shan Masood is another talented player for the franchise, who will be looking to make an impression with the bat in this year's competition. Left-hander showed excellent form for Pakistan during the Test series played in South Africa. Masood has undoubtedly been a consistent performer for his domestic side in the shorter formats of the game. England's Laurie Evans is another player, who is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). Evans has scored runs in the BPL this season and will be keen to do well in his first stint in the Pakistan Super League.
England's James Vince is another batting option for the franchise that can undoubtedly produce quick runs at the top of the innings. Vince is an accomplished player in the T20 circuit and will be looking to make an impact with the bat for Multan Sultans.
The franchise has picked up quality all-rounders like Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi and Daniel Christian for this year's competition. Former Pakistani Captain Shahid Afridi is currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and will be looking to do well for his new franchise.
Andre Russell is undoubtedly going to one player to watch out for the franchise this season. He can certainly win games of cricket with bat and ball.
West Indies' Nicholas Pooran will be the first-choice keeper for the side in this year's tournament. In the bowlers' category, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Abbas are premier pace options for the side in this year's completion. Afghanistan's Qais Ahmed is another promising leg-spinner picked by the franchise for the coming season. Shahid Afridi and Daniel Christian are the other bowling options for the side in the coming season.
The franchise will be relying on their pace-trio to do most of the damage with the new-ball. The side's slow-bowling options are limited for the coming season.
Overall, the experience of having players like Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik might help Multan Sultans go the distance in this year's competition.
The franchise played exceedingly well in the previous edition of the competition played in the UAE. Kings managed to win five games out of ten played in the tournament. They suffered defeat at the hands of Islamabad United in the Qualifier 1 game played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Captain Imad Wasim will be hoping that the side can do well in the coming season and make a serious dash at their coveted prize. In a bid to capture their maiden crown, the team management have made acquisitions and picked up players like Liam Livingstone, Ben Dunk, Sikandar Raza, Aaron Summers and Colin Munro for the coming season.
Iftikhar Ahmed, Awais Zia, Aamer Yamin are players that will bring experience to the overall squad.
In the batting department, the franchise will be relying on the likes of Babar Azam, Colin Munro, and Colin Ingram to do the bulk of the scoring in this year's competition. Colin Munro might not be available due to international duties for New Zealand. Since the start of PSL, Babar Azam is the leading run-scorer for the side with 693 runs in 22 matches at an average of 36.47.
Left-handed batsman Colin Ingram has been in good form and playing a lot of T20 cricket at the moment. He will undoubtedly be looking to make an impact with the bat in this year's competition.
Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza will undoubtedly add value to the Kings squad with bat and ball. Ravi Bopara has been an experienced campaigner in the side for the last three editions. He has scored 571 runs in 29 matches with three half-centuries to his name. Certainly, Karachi Kings will be hoping that Bopara can show consistency with the bat in this year's competition.
Mohammad Rizwan is the first-choice wicket-keeper for the franchise for the coming season. He is currently playing for Pakistan in the T20I series in South Africa. Australia's Ben Dunk is the newest addition to the Kings squad for this season as reserve wicket-keeper.
The franchise has quality all-rounders like Imad Wasim, Ravi Bopara, and Aamer Yamin, who have done well with bat and ball in the previous editions. Skipper Imad Wasim's bowling will certainly be crucial to side's chances in this year's competition.
In the bowling department, the pace trio of Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari and Sohail Khan will be looking to make early inroads with the new-ball. Usman Shinwari and Mohammad Amir are currently on tour to South Africa and have done well in the ongoing one-day series.
Leg-spinner Usama Mir has done well in limited appearances for Karachi Kings and picked up 18 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 27.00.
Overall, the franchise has a well-balanced squad and seems to have made right calls regarding selections ahead of the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL). Imad Wasim and co. can certainly go the distance in this year's tournament.
Islamabad United is the most successful franchise in the history of Pakistan Super League. They have won the coveted prize on two occasions in 2016 and 2018. Reigning Champions will be keen to do well to successfully defend their crown in this year's tournament. Since the departure of Misbah-ul-Haq, wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi has been named as new captain of the side.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan will be his deputy for this year's competition. The team management believes that Shadab can do an excellent job as the vice-captain of the franchise and will raise his game for the side in the coming edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
The franchise has made smart moves in the PSL players draft held in November last year. They picked up Former England batsman Ian Bell, who has done well for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League and also for Warwickshire Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast.
Bell will undoubtedly fill the void left behind by South Africa's JP Duminy, who played a significant role for the side at the top of the innings. Sahibzada Farhan is a promising player, who has undoubtedly made limited appearances for the team. He is a swashbuckling opener, who likes to get going against the bowlers inside Powerplay overs. Farhan will be hoping that he can get more opportunities at the top of the innings in the coming season.
Captain Luke Ronchi will be keen to continue his excellent form with the bat in the coming season of PSL. Former New Zealand wicket-keeper hogged the limelight in the previous edition of PSL with his back-to-back blistering batting performances.
Last year, he was leading run scorer in the competition with 435 runs in 11 matches with five half-centuries to his name. Certainly, Islamabad will be hoping that Ronchi can score heavily for the side in the coming season.
The side's middle-order is in excellent shape as Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Samit Patel, and Cameron Delport have been playing competitive cricket over the last few months. The duo of Hussain Talat and Asif Ali has produced credible performances for the side over the years. Asif Ali is Islamabad United designated pinch-hitter, who can score runs at the back end of the innings.
Samit Patel was impressive with the ball in hand for Islamabad last season and picked up 13 wickets in 9 matches at an average of 14.46. All-rounder Faheem Ashraf was leading wicket-taker in the third of Pakistan Super League with 18 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 17.22. Ashraf always provided crucial breakthroughs for the side and also bowled excellently at the back end of the innings. He will be certainly one bowler to watch out for Islamabad United this season.
England's Phil Salt is another player, who was picked up during the PSL Players draft held in November 2018. He has done well for his domestic side during the Vitality T20 Blast.
In the bowling department, Mohammad Sami and Rumman Raees are two premier options with the new ball. Mohammad Sami has done well in all the three editions of Pakistan Super League. The latest addition to the pace department is South Africa's Wayne Parnell, who will be keen to make an impact with the ball.
Left-arm quick is currently playing for Sylhet Sixers in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League. He will be looking to perform for Islamabad United in the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League. Afghanistan's Zahir Khan and Zafar Gohar are the two spin options for the side in the format.
Overall, Islamabad United look well on course to win their third title in the competition. The franchise certainly has a good think tank at their disposal and will be hoping that they can replicate their success in the coming edition of Pakistan Super League.
Quetta Gladiators have certainly been a competitive unit in the history of PSL and have qualified for the finals of the competition on two occasions.
Dwayne Bravo is the new-appointed captain for the coming season of PSL. West Indies all-rounder will be hoping that the side can hit their straps from the start
Last year, Quetta Gladiators did well and won five games out of ten played in the competition. Gladiators lost to Peshawar by just one run in the Eliminator game played at Gaddafi Cricket Stadium, Lahore.
The newest acquisitions made by the franchise during the PSL Players draft have been Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine Dwayne Smith, Fawad Ahmed, and Harry Gurney. Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, and Mohammad Asghar are also notable inclusions in the Gladiators squad for the coming season.
All-rounder Shane Watson has been in good form and is currently playing in the Big Bash League for Sydney Thunder. He will be indeed be a player to watch out for the side in the coming season of PSL. Last year, Watson played well for the side and scored 319 runs in 10 matches at an average of 35.44.
Rilee Rossouw is another experienced player that will be looking do well for the side for Gladiators. Left-hander has been in ominous form and currently scoring heavily in the Bangladesh Premier League. Quetta will be hoping that Rossouw can score consistently at the top of the innings. Ahmed Shehzad is another player, who can score big runs at the top of the innings.
The franchise has indeed gone for many all-rounders as Dwayne Smith, Sunil Narine, Anwar Ali, Sohail Tanvir, and Mohammad Nawaz will provide value with bat and ball. Sunil Narine can undoubtedly be used as a makeshift opener for the coming season due to his success in that role.
Anwar Ali has been delivered credible performances for the side with the bat and ball in the previous editions of the league. Sarfaraz Ahmed will be the first-choice keeper for the side in the coming season of PSL.
In the bowling department, Sohail Tanvir, Shane Watson, and Anwar Ali are the three pace options for the side with new-ball. Regarding the spin option, they certainly have quality bowlers like Sunil Narine, Fawad Ahmed and Mohammad Asghar in their ranks. Dwayne Bravo and Mohammad Irfan are other bowling options for the side for the upcoming season.
Overall, Quetta Gladiators might not be that consistent as some of the players are beyond their best. Sunil Narine, Shane Watson, and Dwayne Smith will need to deliver, or it will be their final stint in the competition.
Reigning Champions Islamabad United will start as favorites to win this year's competition. United certainly have a well-balanced squad to win their trophy for the third time. Also, they have gone for players that will be available for most of the competition. Ian Bell, Phil Salt, Wayne Parnell will be available and will be playing for the franchise in this year's tournament.
United have quality players like Shadab Khan, Luke Ronchi and Mohammad Sami, who can help the side go the distance in the coming edition of PSL.
Bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf was instrumental in helping Islamabad United win their second trophy last season. He bowled well throughout the competition and was the leading wicket-taker with 18 wickets to his name.
Karachi Kings are another side that can certainly go the distance in this year's competition. They have the firepower in the batting and bowling department to win their maiden title this season. The franchise will need to produce consistency regarding results to make a serious attempt at winning the trophy.
Lahore Qalandars will undoubtedly be hoping for a change in fortunes in the coming season. The franchise is keen to do well this season after bringing in AB De Villiers, Mohammad Hafeez and Sandeep Lamichhane in their squad.
2017 Champions Peshawar Zalmi have been the most consistent side in the history of PSL. They will always be one of the contenders to win the trophy this season.
Babar Azam has been in splendid form for Pakistan across all three formats. Given his superb form for the national side in South Africa, there is no doubt that Azam might end as the leading run scorer for Karachi Kings in the coming PSL season. Kings will be hoping that Azam can score heavily with the bat at the top of the innings and help them win their maiden crown this season.
All-rounder Faheem Ashraf is going to be the leading wicket-taker in the 4th edition of Pakistan Super League. Ashraf has the ability to produce excellent spells in the later stages of the innings. Islamabad United will be hoping that Ashraf can continue his good form with the ball in the upcoming edition of Pakistan Super League.
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