5 Pakistani legends who would have flourished in PSL

Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis would have been perfect for T20 tournaments

Many legendary cricketers bowed out of the sport, way before the inception of Twenty20 (T20) format. Countries like Pakistan, West Indies, Australia and India have produced some of the most exciting cricketers, who would have easily suited the shortest format of the game.

The likes of Viv Richards, Kapil Dev, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir, Javed Miandad and many others never received a chance to play the thrilling format of T20 but they had the qualities of mastering it.

Pakistan Super League (PSL), a T20 league that is a Pakistani-version of Indian Premier League, consists of five franchises representing cities in Pakistan. The five teams that played the opening season in 2016 and are playing the second edition at present are Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators.

Although the tournament is operated by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it is hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As we are in the final leg of the second edition of PSL, we take a look at five Pakistan’s cricketing legends who could have excelled in the PSL.

#5 Javed Miandad

The Pakistani legendary limited-overs batsman was known for his last overs heroics, his unique technique that brought the reverse sweep shots into the picture and his fearless batting against any bowling attack. More importantly, he possessed an unbelievable control which helped him finish games for his country.

T20 games often go down to the last ball. And since Miandad was Pakistan’s national hero in the 50-over format, he would have easily bagged a franchise in the PSL. He hails from Karachi and it will not be wrong to assume, had he featured in the drafts, PSL’s Karachi Kings would surely bid for the legend.

#4 Imran Khan

The veteran would have been a hot pick if he was auctioned in the PSL for his all-round qualities along with a successful history as Pakistan’s captain. Although he was not very quick, he had an ability to swing the ball amazingly and could deliver lethal Yorkers in the death overs, both being crucial in T20 cricket.

Everybody is aware of the misery that Khan could cause the opponent’s bowling attacks on a good day with the willow. The cricket-turned politician was born and brought up in Lahore and the city’s franchise, Lahore Qalandars, would be more than happy to sign him. Khan would be amongst the most experienced No. 7 batsmen in the tournament.

#3 Waqar Younis

At his prime, Waqar was considered to be among the most ruthless bowlers in the sport; for not only bowling at 150+kmph but also swinging the ball in a manner that made it unplayable. He was compared to pace legends like Dennis Lillee and Malcolm Marshall.

After Waqar suffered an injury, he lost his pace but his inswingers became very accurate. The numbers testify his worth as a white ball bowler. He picked 416 wickets in 262 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in an economy less than five. The inswingers that he bowled on the toe of the batsmen would have surely increased his demand in the T20 league.

#2 Zaheer Abbas

The classical batsman, who hailed from Sialkot, was among the best No. 4 batsmen during his era. With 2,572 runs in 62 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), the batter boasted an ODI average of 47.62 along with a strike rate of 80-plus. Although he was among the few batsmen who wore spectacles even while playing, that was no hindrance in scoring runs.

He made a record of scoring three consecutive One-Day International (ODI) hundreds that was later broken by Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, who smashed four ODI tons in a row. He was an elegant batsman and his rapacity for runs gave him an illustrious tag of ‘Asian Bradman’.

He belonged to the time when batsmen scored at a very slow rate but he chose to be unique and his bold batting in the middle-order would buy him a franchise in the PSL.

#1 Wasim Akram

JOHANNESBURG - FEBRUARY 11:  Matthew Hayden of Australia is bowled by Wasim Akram of Pakistan during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 Pool A match between Australia and Pakistan held on February 11, 2003 at The Wanderers, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Australia won the match by 82 runs. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He was a combination of talent and glamour, similar to a T20 league. Akram was considered perfect in every sense as a bowler. The left-armer swung the ball in both directions and troubled the batsmen with his deadly bouncers and Yorkers.

Along with this, he was known to smash the ball as hard as he could, which would make him a standard T20 player. Nothing better than a bowler who can be trusted with a few big hits down the order in crucial situations.

Akram was a successful successor to Imran Khan as Pakistan’s captain in Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODI), so along with bowling, blind hitting towards the end, he brought along captaincy experience as well. Not just Lahore Qalandars, because he hailed from there, all the franchises in PSL would be ready to shell any amount for the legendary Pakistani fast bowler.

Edited by Staff Editor


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