Karachi Kings is a cricket franchise based in Karachi that participates in Pakistan’s version of the IPL, called, Pakistan Super League. The team is based out of Karachi, the capital of Sindh. The logo depicts a lion with Karachi Kings written in white and gold beneath, signifying the true spirit and resilience of Karachi.
The Karachi Kings play at home at the National Stadium which became Karachi's fifth and Pakistan's 11th first-class ground. The inaugural first-class match was played at NSK between Pakistan and India on April 21-24, 1955, and it became a significant mark of Pakistan cricket.
Between 2016-2018, the Karachi Kings haven’t set foot with a perfect track record. Although, they finished at #3 in the 2018 PSL season out of the competing 6 teams. In the first two editions, there were only 5 teams wherein, they stood at #4 in 2016 and #3 in 2017.
Karachi Kings was sold to ARY media group for a sum of 26 million USD for a ten year period in 2015 which made it the most expensive team in the tournament up until 2017 where the Multan Sultans was sold for 4.16 million USD for a tenor of 8 years.
Across the seasons, there have been a few prominent achievements for the Karachi Kings:
- Ravi Bopara bagging the award for the player of the tournament in the opening season of the PSL.
- Finishing at #3 in Season 2 out of 5. Picked up a spot higher from the year before.
- Shahid Afridi coming in as player and President along with having an unbeaten first three matches. A three wicket haul by the the veteran which help them conquer their third victory. At the end of the 3rd season, Karachi Kings outplayed 50% of its competitors. They finished at #3/6.
Through the three years, the squad has changed considerably. There are a few noteworthy players in the Kings’ squad.
Ravi Bopara: In the first season, he won the player of the tournament with a significant hold over the bat and the ball. He also contributed substantially to the unbeaten start to the 2018 season wherein he and Afridi helped take victory against the Lahore Qalandars.
The second quickest to five ODI tons, one down to Quinton De Kock, the aggregate of 1306 runs after 25 knocks tallied the highest, beating Jonathan Trott's numbers. He was drafted into the Pakistan under-19 team for the 2010 World Cup as a fifteen year old and since then, there has been no looking back for him. He was bought by the Kings for USD 250,000. Babar was the third-highest runs scorer in the 2018 season and the leading runs-scorer in his team. His stats finished as; 11 innings, 402 runs, S/R of 122 with five half-centuries.
Other noteworthy players who are a part of the squad include: Mohammad Amir - tainted with spot fixing back in 2010, Amir has resurfaced and is waiting to find his form that the younger self once had. The South African, Colin Ingram - the Batsman - is the ambassador for the team in 2019. Other notable picks include: Imad Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Shinwari, etc.
In 2016, Although the team stood at #4 for the tournament, the Englishman Ravi Bopara had a scintillating season wherein he bagged the award for the player of the tournament with his outstanding performance with both the bat and the ball. Against the Lahore Qalandars, Bopara smashed a 43 ball 71* only to record the ninth best figures in T-20 history.
To kick-off 2017, Karachi Kings looked extremely promising on paper with the Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara and Pakistani Spinner Babar Azam joining the team. Alongside added were prominent players such as Kieron Pollard, Mahela Jaywardena and Ryan McLaren. In the 2017 PSL, the Karachi Kings set-off with the wrong footing but eventually found their way onto the points table by beating the defending champions - Islamabad United by means of D/L and continued to their final game in Sharjah to get past the Peshawar Zalmi in a nail-biting contest.With a stellar partnership of Shahid Afridi and Darren Sammy, representing the Zalmis, the Kings managed to scrape through with a 7-run victory. At #3, captained by Sangakkara, the team finished at a spot higher than the 2016 season.
2018 brought in a change of reform for the Karachi Kings. It began with the introduction of Shahid Afridi as President and Player of the Karachi Kings. To kick-off the season, the Kings brought an end to the 2-year long loss against the Quetta Gladiators - beating them by 19 runs. With 2 balls and 5 wickets to spare, the Kings took on the 2017 champions - Peshawar Zalmi. They chased down the given 132 target and took some more points onto the table. A third consecutive victory came from the match against the Lahore Qalandars, with an exhilarating performance by Ravi Bopara with a 50* and a three-wicket haul from Man of the Match - Shahid Afridi. Progressing to Sharjah, the match against the Multan Sultans was washed out by rain and the following match against the Islamabad United brought an end to the winning streak of 2018. Karachi Kings finished at #3 on the table.
With the current President being Wasim Akram, and the National Ground being the home stadium, Karachi Kings has a substantially large fan base.
The club’s Twitter followers bear a cumulative of 586K followers and they go with the Hashtag #DeDhanaDan.