DUBAI: The draft for the second edition of Pakistan Super League took place in Dubai yesterday where all five teams composed their squads for the second season.
Lets take a look how at how all the teams fared at the draft.
The Lahore based franchise stole the show with their mega signing in the shape of Kiwi star Brendon McCullum who will be their captain as well as the mentor. Considering the slow and spin friendly conditions of UAE, the Qalandars have an able spin attack in the form of West Indies player Sunil Narine, Pakistan’s Yasir Shah and the youngster Zafar Gohar. They also retained the enterprising batsman Umar Akmal and brought in left arm medium fast bowler Sohail Tanvir in order to strengthen their bowling side and strike a proper balance.
The Qalandars finished last in the previous edition but come next edition they will be a force to reckon with Baz leading from the front.
The most expensive franchise of Pakistan Super League Karachi Kings have been reinforced by the arrival of the hard hitting Chris Gayle who can destroy any bowling lineup on a given day with his explosive batting. Another Caribbean player Kieron Pollard, who is also a highly rated T20 player due to his superiority in all departments of the game, will also represent the Kings. They have also retained majority of their top players from previous season which includes the likes of Ravi Bopara, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir. The Lankan greats in the form of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are also part of the Karachi Kings.
The Karachi Kings won just two matches in their last season but after landing T20 specialists during the draft, they will be confident about putting up a better show and making Karachiites proud.
One of the most famous franchise of Pakistan Super League is Shahid Afridi’s Peshawar Zalmi who relied on specialists as they composed their squad rather than relying too much on allrounders. They brought in the talented English captain Eoin Morgan as well as his fellow countryman Chris Jordan along with top Bangladeshi allrounder Shakib-Al-Hasan. Zalmi retained Tamin Iqbal, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal during the draft yesterday. They have assembled a good bowling attack which includes the likes of Shahid Afridi, Darren Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan Jnr and Junaid Khan.
During the PSL Draft Shahid Afridi also honored Darren Sammy by handing over the team’s captaincy to the West Indies allrounder. Peshawar will once be one of the top contenders to win PSL 2nd edition considering that they have loads of exciting players on show.
The runner up from previous season Quetta Gladiators retained most of their previous players during the PSL Draft which included Kevin Pietersen, Sarfraz Ahmed, Luke Wright and Ahmed Shehzad. The way they have composed their squad they look stronger in the batting department as compared to their bowling. They managed to rope in the World T20 hero Carlos Barthwaite who led West Indies to victory ind dramatic fashion. One surprising inclusion by Quetta was Taymal Mills, relatively unknown player, who can crank up serious pace and trouble batsman with his speed.
Under the inspirational leadership of Sarfraz Ahmed the Gladiators would look to replicate their performance of previous season but go one step further and clinch the trophy this time.
The champions of the inaugural edition of Pakistan Super League Islamabad United will be once again lead by Pakistan’s most successful Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq. The Islu team management have retained many of their previous players who led them to the triumph in the first edition. They will once again have the services of Australian duo Shane Watson and Brad Haddin along with handy West Indies players in the shape of Samuel Badree and Andre Russell who are game changers on their day. Islamabad United have a quality spinner in the form of Saeed Ajmal, two genuine fast bowlers in the shape of Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Irfan and many other quality T20 players.
The Islamabad United side have all the resources to repeat the heroics of the inaugural edition but having said that it won’t be an easy task retaining the title especially considering the challenge posed by other franchises.
You can be rest assured that, after yesterday’s draft, the second edition of Pakistan Super League will be another successful event and the claims of making it ‘Bigger and Better’ will be a reality!