An addition of a sixth franchise in the third season of Pakistan Super League (PSL) not only made the contest more exciting but also boost the value of PSL as a brand in the sporting world.
Last year the debutants Multan Sultans showcased an impressive game, they were ruling the charts at the beginning of the tournament but unfortunately failed to make their mark and slipped to the fifth spot after losing five matches out of ten.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last year terminated the franchise contract of Multan Sultans with Schon Group and took all the responsibility of the team. Later, Ali Tareen, son of Jahangir Tareen won the franchise rights by pitching the most attractive bid to the PCB and retained ‘Multan Sultans’ as the name of his team.
Since the franchise is the youngest side of the league, here are few talking points about Multan Sultans’ squad:
1. Strong batting line-up
Sultans had a superb two picks in the Platinum category with former Australian skipper Steve Smith and the veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi. They also selected the impressive English batsman Joe Denly and retained the veteran superstar Shoaib Malik which makes a perfectly blended batting line-up.
2. Threatening bowling attack
A team that has pacers like Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Irfan and the spin wizard like Shahid Afridi whose name is enough to rattle any opposition, can jolt any formidable batting side.
3. Overseas stars:
With the inclusion of Steve Smith, Joe Denly, and West Indian rising star Nicholas Pooran the Sultans have managed to gather the best in the business.
The Australian batsman Steve Smith is a run machine who has the ability to win the game single-handedly. He is a reliable finisher and will probably be seen ending the game in a grand style.
Denly was with the Kings in the previous edition and played a key role in winning several games for the franchise.
Nicholas Pooran is the one who is more than capable of hitting the ball hard for boundaries especially in the middle overs.
4. Local Talent
The tall left-hander with an easy elegance, Shan Masood may not be a hard-hitter but guarantees to put runs on the board. The franchise have retained Shan Masood in the fourth season in the gold category. Masood has great playing techniques and has a massive record in the domestic circuit.
In the team’s all-round department, the merits are extremely high. With such experienced and skilful players, the Sultans are a dangerous bunch in this competition. They have a team combination that can win matches on any wicket.
Sultans will play its opening match against Karachi Kings on 15th February at Dubai, while the league will kick off from February 14 and will conclude with the final to be played at the national stadium Karachi on March 17, 2019.
Multan Sultans Team Players List 2019:
Shahid Afridi, Steve Smith, Joe Denly, Qais Ahmed, Nicholas Pooran, Laurie Evans, Nauman Ali, Muhammad Ilyas, Dan Christian, Shakeel Ansar, Tom Moores, Ali Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas, M. Irfan Khan, Umar Siddiq, Mohammad Junaid
Multan Sultans Schedule:
15th February Friday Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings Dubai
16th February Saturday Islamabad United v Multan Sultans Dubai
20th February Wednesday Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans Sharjah
22nd February Friday Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars Sharjah
24th February Sunday Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans Sharjah
26th February Tuesday Multan Sultans v Islamabad United Dubai
28th February Thursday Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi Dubai
1st March Friday Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators Dubai
4th March Monday Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans Abu Dhabi
10th March Sunday Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans Lahore