As days keep passing, the zest among the fans is increasing exponentially. A league with unbelievable catches, breathtaking moments and huge sixes is all set to commence from February 14, 2019, at the Dubai Sports City Stadium.
All the six teams are gearing up to show their strength in the upcoming season of Pakistan Super League (PSL), with their selected squad of local and overseas stars.
Talking about the Islamabad United squad, the defending champions are undoubtedly the most fortunate side in all three-year seasons of Pakistan Super League, having won the first and third tournament.
Although the red hot champions have comprehensively an impressive win percentage, but in the upcoming edition of Pakistan’s only cricketing league, it is too early to predict the champions, specially when the big names like Steve Smith and Ab de Villiers will be seen in action.
Islamabad United will certainly be hurting when it comes to losing the most successful captain of PSL Misbah ul Haq after franchise released an official statement in which they have mentioned that Misbah will not be a part of the franchise. The experienced player was offered a non-playing role by the franchise but he wished to stay in the players’ draft. Later picked by Peshawar Zalmi in the gold category.
In the previous season, Misbah suffered an injury, which gave their young vice-captain, Rumman Raees a chance to showcase his leadership skills. Unfortunately, Raees also suffered an injury during a match, which ruled him out of the tournament. As a result, JP Duminy was given the charge of the team.
Unfortunately, the South African cricketer will also not be a part of PSL this year due to his national duty.
On his official Twitter handle he wrote, “Really enjoyed my time at Islamabad United last season but unfortunately I couldn’t commit to the PSL this year because of domestic and national team commitments”.
Despite uncertainty regarding the key players, Islamabad United squad looks extremely balanced as always, with a perfect blend of batting and bowling, they retained their eight local stars and Luke Ronchi who will be leading the side this season. The young guns, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Sahibzada Farhan and Asif Ali along with the experienced Mohammad Sami and Luke Ronchi makes a devastating combination.
The franchise has released Andre Russell, Misbah-ul-Haq, Samuel Badree, Iftikhar Ahmed, Amad Butt, JP Duminy, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, David Willey, Mohammad Hasan, Mohammad Hasnain.
Therefore, they are in the hunt to defend the title for the third time.
The fourth edition of the blockbuster league will conclude with the final to be played at the national stadium Karachi on March 17, 2019. The eight matches will be hosted in Lahore and Karachi.
Islamabad United Team Players List 2019:
Luke Ronchi (captain), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees, Hussain Talat, Waqas Maqsood, Sahibzada Farhan, Zafar Gohar, Ian Bell, Samit Patel, Phil Salt, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Musa, Nasir Nawaz, Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt, and Rizwan Hussain.
Islamabad United schedule:
14th February: Thursday Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars Dubai
16th February: Saturday Islamabad United v Multan Sultans Dubai
17th February: Sunday Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators Dubai
22nd February: Friday Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi Sharjah
23rd February: Saturday Islamabad United v Karachi Kings Sharjah
26th February: Tuesday Multan Sultans v Islamabad United Dubai
27th February: Wednesday Karachi Kings v Islamabad United Dubai
1st March Friday: Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United Dubai
5th March Tuesday: Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United Abu Dhabi
9th March Saturday: Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United Lahore