Despite the year 2019 being just a month old, franchise T20 has been in full swing. The Big Bash League (BBL) and the Bangladesh Premier League have been going on in full flow alongside other international cricket. Another league will get off the blocks in a couple of weeks.
The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is all set to begin and is scheduled to start on the 14th of February.
UAE will host the majority of the season but this year, there will be as many as eight games played in Pakistan.
The last four league games and the knockout stage will be held at two venues in Pakistan (Lahore and Karachi). Karachi will host five games which includes the all-important final while Lahore will play host to three games.
For this edition, the player draft was held in Islamabad in November last year and each team had the choice to pick up to 20 players in their squad.
The players were distributed in six groups, platinum, diamond, gold, silver, emerging and supplementary. Each franchise was allowed to pick, three players from the platinum category, three from the diamond, three from the gold, five from the silver, two emerging and four from the supplementary group.
Hence, with less than two weeks to go for the fourth season of the PSL, let’s take a quick look at the squads of every franchise.
The two-time champions will be without the services of Misbah-ul-Haq this year who had called time on his career but backtracked and is now a part of the Peshawar Zalmi side. However, Islamabad have some decent star attraction.
Pakistan all-rounders Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf are a part of the team, while Luke Ronchi who had a brilliant season last year will be leading the side. Mohammad Sami and Rumman Raees will be handling the fast bowling duties. Samit Patel, Ian Bell and Cameron Delport are the other international stars part of the team.
Squad: Shadab Khan, Luke Ronchi, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Sami, Asif Ali, Ian Bell, Rumman Raees, Samit Patel, Philip Salt, Hussain Talat, Sahibzada Farhan, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood, Cameron Delport, Musa Khan, Nasir Nawaz
Supplementary players – Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt, Rizwan Hussain
The Karachi Kings boast of a strong team on paper. The likes of Pakistan internationals Babar Azam, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Amir are a part of the team that has reached the playoffs in every season.
They also have some quality foreign stars as Colin Munro, Colin Ingram, Sikandar Raza and Ravi Bopara will be a part of the team at some point of the season.
Squad: Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Colin Munro, Usman Khan Shinwari, Colin Ingram, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, Ravi Bopara, Sikandar Raza, Awais Zia, Aaron Summers, Usama Mir, Sohail Khan, Iftikhar Ahmad, Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed, Umer Khan
Supplementary players – Aamer Yamin, Ben Dunk, Liam Livingstone, Jaahid Ali
The 2017 Champions and last year’s runner-ups acquired the services of former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq after he made himself available for this season.
They also boast of some quality international all-rounders such as Kieron Pollard, Liam Dawson and Darren Sammy. Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and Kamran Akmal are some of the local attractions.
Squad: Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Keiron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Kamran Akmal, Misbah ul Haq, Liam Dawson, Dawid Malan, Umer Amin, Umaid Asif, Khalid Usman, Wayne Madsen, Sohaib Maqsood, Jamal Anwar, Sameen Gul, Nabi Gul
Supplementary players – Andre Fletcher (Waqar Salamkheil’s replacement), Chris Jordan, Ibtisam Sheikh, Samiullah
The runner-ups of the first two seasons have some really good international players in the form of Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson and Rilee Rossouw.
Sarfraz Ahmed and Umar Akmal are the local stars and will be hoping to guide the Quetta Gladiators to their maiden title. Dwayne Smith will be the cover for Dwayne Bravo who is available after February 27th.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo (available from February 27th and Dwayne Smith is the cover), Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Nawaz, Rilee Rossouw, Umar Akmal, Fawad Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Saud Shakil, Mohammad Asghar, Danish Aziz, Ahsan Ali, Ghulam Mudassar, Nasim Shah, Mohammad Irfan Jr.
Supplementary players – Harry Gurney, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Azam Khan, Jalat Khan.
Player Cover – Dwayne Smith
Lahore Qalandars are the only team who has played all three season and have never qualified for the playoffs.
However, the Qalandars grabbed a lot of attention in the player draft as they got the services of South Africa star AB de Villiers.
However, he will be available only for the group stage games. They also have rising Nepal star leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Carlos Brathwaite and Corey Anderson are also not available for the entire season. Hardus Viljoen and David Wiese are the covers.
Squad: AB de Villiers, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Shah, Carlos Brathwaite, Corey Anderson, Anton Devcich, Rahat Ali, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shaheen Afridi, Hassan Khan, Agha Salman, Sohail Akhtar, Haris Sohail (injured), Mohammad Imran, Umair Maqsood, Saad Ali
Supplementary players – Brendon Taylor, Gauhar Ali, Aizaz Cheema, Harris Rauf.
Player Cover – Hardus Viljoen, David Wiese
Multan Sultan had bought Steve Smith in the draft but the former Aussie skipper will miss the tournament due to an elbow injury.
However, star Windies all-rounder Andre Russell has been announced as the replacement. Joe Denly will also not be a part of this year’s PSL and his countryman James Vince has replaced him. Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Abbas are some of the other star attractions.
Squad: Andre Russell (Steve Smith’s replacement), Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, James Vince (Joe Denly’s replacement), Shan Masood, Qais Ahmed, Nicholas Pooran, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Umar Siddiq, Laurie Evans, Nauman Ali, Mohammad Junaid, Mohammad Ilyas, Hammad Azam
Supplementary players – Dan Christian, Tom Moores, Ali Shafiq, Shakeel Ansar
Follow Sportskeeda for all the updates on PSL 2019 schedule, news, points table, live scores and fantasy tips.Published 01 Feb 2019, 14:59 IST