The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is just a few hours away as Dubai International Stadium is all set to host the opener of this season between reigning champions Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars after a star-studded opening ceremony.
Both the outings will be looking to start the tournament on a winning note under new captains. Mohammad Hafeez will lead Qalandars while pacer Mohammad Sami is captaining Islamabad United this time around.
The things will change for both of them as some new players have been included in this year’s PSL. One of the biggest names of cricket world AB De Villiers will represent Qalandars which will be his first presence at the mega event.
Having a vast experience of playing the leagues all around the world, De Villiers is going to make a difference in Qalandars performance. He has scored 7178 runs in 267 matches at an average of 35.71. A handsome strike rate of 149.04 makes him more competent batsman in the shorter format of the game.
Skipper Mohammad Hafeez is a prominent addition to the Qalandars line-up as a leader and as well as a player. His all-round ability will help his team turn the fortunes for them. He has played 256 T20s scoring 5394 runs at an average of 24.51.
Fakhar Zaman will serve Qalandars to the order as the left-handed batsman can hit some big shots to give his team a positive start. Windies captain Carlos Brathwaite can be a trump card for Qalandars in the upcoming season. His power-hitting ability will be crucial for his team in death overs.
Shaheen Shah Afridi will lead the pace battery of Qalandars while young Haris Rauf and Aizaz Cheema will support him to handle the bowling department of their team.
On the other hand, Luke Ronchi’s presence is a threat for Qalandars who has failed to give an impressive performance in the last seasons of the league. He was the highest run-scorer in the last season with 435 runs.
Hussain Talat and Faheem Ashraf will show their excellence with bat and bowl which is too important for United. Talat can be handy for his team in teh middle order as he keeps patience to play a longer inning.
Sami, who will be having the responsibility of leading the side, is also a key bowler for Islamabad alongside Amad Butt and Wayne Parnell.
All eyes are on Qalandars as people want to see them rising on the top from the very start but Islamabad is eying to continue their winning streak. Expectations are high for an enthralling first contest of the extravaganza.