Just four months later, country’s biggest cricket extravaganza ‘Pakistan Super League’ is all set to begin with defending champions Karachi Kings and Quetta Gladiators locking horns in the opening fixture of sixth edition.
Imad Wasim-led Karachi Kings are aiming to kick start their PSL 6 journey from where they left off on November 17, beating Lahore Qalandars in the PSL 5 final.
Meanwhile, Quetta Gladiators will look to recover their lost run of the first four seasons after they finished last in PSL 5.
Kings are once coming into this tournament with a balanced squad, comprising of youth and experience, having the likes of top T20 batsman Babar Azam, pacer Mohammad Amir and Australia’s Dan Christian who is renowned for winning titles wherever he goes.
The opening pair of Babar and Sharjeel will look to repeat their last year’s performances with South Africa’s Colin Ingram and England’s Joe Clarke bringing a load of T20 experience.
The 28-year-old Amir will have the support of top domestic performer Waqas Maqsood and emerging T20 bowler Arshad Iqbal, who according to former captain Rashid Latif is the ‘best bowler’ among all in past one year
On the other hand, Gladiators have the services of ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle and England’s hard-hitting opener Tom Banton with Azam Khan, known for power-hitting in the middle and backend of the inning.
All eyes will be on Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who will reportedly bat at the top and will look to fulfill selectors’ demand. The young pace duo of Mohammad Hasnain and Naseem Shah would be key for Gladiators with Mohammad Nawaz and Zahid Mehmood taking the responsibility of spin department.
Expected playing XIs:
Karachi Kings: Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Colin Ingram, Joe Clarke (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Dan Christian, Imad Wasim (C), Mohammad Amir, Amir Yamin, Waqas Maqsood, Arshad Iqbal
Quetta Gladiators: Chris Gayle, Tom Banton, Azam Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saim Ayub, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Nawaz, Zahid Mehmood, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Shinwari