United, Zalmi start as favourites for PSL 2022
The seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is set to begin on January 27. The opening game of the 34-match competition will be played between defending champions Multan Sultans and home team Karachi Kings at the National Stadium.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament will be played in two cities only, Karachi and Lahore.
The Karachi-leg of the competition will conclude on February 07 whereas the final of the event will be hosted by Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on the 27th of next month.
In order to ensure that the tournament will go ahead as per plan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has allocated a 15-member pool of reserve players who are available to join any franchise in case of a Covid-19 outbreak.
Islamabad United will enter the competition as one of the favourites to lift the title for the third time. They will be led by all-rounder Shadab Khan and he will have the services of England’s hard-hitting opener Alex Hales, New Zealand’s top-order batter Colin Munro, Ireland’s star all-rounder Paul Stirling, Afghanistan’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz and national teammates Asif Ali, Azam Khan in the batting department.
The bowling is clearly pace-heavy where the presence of Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Reece Topley is more than enough to put any team under pressure.
Karachi Kings will enter the competition with a new captain and they will be hoping to repeat the performances of the 2020 campaign where they ended up as the champions.
The Kings will be led by star batter Babar Azam and he will have the services of exciting young wicketkeeper-batter from England Joe Clarke, veteran Sharjeel Khan, Afghanistan’s all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, in-form Sahibzada Farhan and Rohail Nazir in the batting department.
The fast-bowling attack will be their strength in the competition in the presence of pacers Mohammad Amir, Muhammad Imran, Chris Jordan and Aamer Yamin.
Lahore Qalandars will enter the competition hoping to produce a much better show than they produced in the last campaign where for the fifth time out of six occasions, they finished outside the playoffs spot.
The team will be led by star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi this time around the squad is more or less the same as it were last time around.
However, the addition of young Abdullah Shafique will definitely excite the fans as he is very highly-rated in the cricketing community in the country.
Multan Sultans will be defending their crown under the leadership of star wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan.
The reigning champions have kept a more or less similar squad and they will be hoping to replicate what they did in the previous campaign.
Peshawar Zalmi will be hoping to go one better than they did in the previous campaign where they finished as the runners up.
The team will be once again led by star pacer Wahab Riaz. The side looks much stronger than it was in the previous campaign with the arrival of leg-spinner Usman Qadir, pacers Arshad Iqbal, Salman Irshad all-rounders Hussain Talat, Ben Cutting.
Quetta Gladiators will enter the contest as underdogs and they will be hoping to put a much better show than they did in the last two campaigns.
The team will be led by wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz Ahmed once again and he will be optimistic that the arrival of all-rounders like Iftikhar Ahmed, Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir will help in solving some of the problems faced by the franchise.