It is that time of the year again! Pakistan’s biggest cricketing event is just around the corner. The Pakistan Super League is set to begin on 27th January 2022, and it promises to be even bigger and better. The coming season will be the seventh one, with all the previous six seasons being a hit. The tournament will be played in two megacities of Pakistan, i.e., Karachi and Lahore. The final of this edition of HBL PSL will be played on 27th February 2022 at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
TEAMS AND SCHEDULE
The seventh edition of HBL PSL will occur in two phases, one at Karachi and the other at Lahore. The tournament will feature Multan Sultans, Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi, Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators, and Lahore Qalandars. You can find a complete schedule of the tournament and the way all franchises have shaped their teams on www.psl-t20.com.
TEAM BY TEAM ANALYSIS
The defending champions Multan Sultans will be aiming to extend the custody of the excellent PSL trophy for another year. Skipper Muhammad Rizwan has been a phenomenal team-man and has had a stellar 2021. His performances and current form have raised the spirits of all those who love cricket and live in South Punjab. Moreover, the Sultans will expect fireworks from their foreign stars, specially Rillee Russow and Imran Tahir. The team will also look to cash in the experience of veteran cricketers Sohaib Maqsood and Shan Masood and the everlasting energy of emerging Shahnawaz Dahani.
Runners up of the last edition and the 2017 edition of HBL PSL winners, Peshawar Zalmi, never disappoint their fans. A team that depicts the actual image of the region it represents, with sheer grit and resilience. Skipper Wahab Riaz ignites this energy into his side as a fast bowler himself. Then the forever-young Shoaib Malik and a young batting sensation, Haider Ali, are all set to take their team to new heights. With Hazratullah Zazai, Liam Livingstone, and Sherfane Rutherford in the side, the umpires might have to keep an extra box of reserve balls.
Karachi Kings is one of the most popular sides of HBL PSL. The champions of the 2020 season are all set to stamp their authority once again with new leadership. Pakistan’s national team skipper and world’s number one batsman, Babar Azam, is the side’s new captain. He, along with former captain Imad Wasim, fast bowler Muhammad Amir and opener Sharjeel Khan is the center of Karachi’s hopes this season. Moreover, Afghanistan’s Muhammad Nabi and England’s Chris Jordan are the team’s foreign fire-house this season. The presence of great brains in the form of Wasim Akram in the dugout is a competitive advantage for the Kings.
Islamabad United is the most successful PSL side yet. Having won the 2016 and 2018 seasons of HBL PSL, the Isloo boys will be aiming to extend their lead as the only team to win more than one PSL season. A young and energetic captain, Shadab Khan and his ‘Roti group’ featuring Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, and Asif Ali make this team an exciting prospect. Islamabad United this year is a very batting-heavy side with the likes of Alex Hales, Colin Munro, Paul Stirling, and Azam Khan. Big scores are coming ahead.
Quetta Gladiators is the only team to be led by the same captain each season, and this time it’s no difference. Sarfaraz Ahmed will regather his troops in purple for his seventh edition as the side’s captain. Quetta has been one of the most successful sides, being runner-ups twice and winning the 2019 season. However, they have somehow lost the plot in the last two seasons and will work to get it back. Iftikhar Ahmed and Sohail Tanwir into the side will surely provide that missing element of the experience. The foreign picks for Quetta this season are not bad either. Jason Roy, James Vince, and James Faulkner will be in action for the purple force. Most importantly, Pakistan’s biggest cricketing icon Shahid Afridi will feature in the side for the first time and, unfortunately, the last of his PSL seasons.
Lahore Qalandars is the most entertaining side of the league. The Qalandars were the runner-ups of the 2020 season of HBL PSL. They never qualified past the group stages for the rest of the five seasons. However, their player development program and their way of treating emerging players have given a lot of star players to the national team, including Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, and Fakhar Zaman. All three will be looking to pay back to the team that took them to new heights. Shaheen Afridi is also the new captain of the side and will be leading for the first time in competitive cricket. Moreover, Lahore has the services of wizard spinner Rashid Khan and experienced all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez. This time around, they have bright chances to turn the tables in their favor.
You can find the tickets for all the matches of HBL PSL online at www.bookme.pk. NCOC has allowed 25% attendance at stadiums, keeping the covid situations in view. So what are you waiting for? Grab your tickets, so you don’t miss the action.
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