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Franchises select their squads for PSL 4 battle

The six franchises of Pakistan Super League (PSL) selected their squads through a players draft on Tuesday at Islamabad for the fourth season of the blockbuster cricketing league, which will be played from February 14 to March 17.

Teams had to complete their 20-member squad, including the retained stars and supplementary players. The franchises looked to select a balanced squad with local and international talent. Moreover, franchises preferred to select those international stars this time around who will visit Pakistan to play the eight scheduled games in the country.

Here are complete squads of all the six franchises.

Karachi Kings

Karachi Kings had retained all three players from the platinum category, Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir and Colin Munro, thus they did have a pick from the most elite pool of the players. Moreover, they had retained their Diamond category stars, Colin Ingram, skipper Imad Wasim and the pace sensation Usman Shinwari. They picked Sikander Raza in the Gold category, which the owner of the franchise coined as “a great all-rounder, he is a great player, he is a good off-spinner, a good fielder and a good batsman.”

Usama Mir, Sohail Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed returned to Karachi Kings, while they picked the aggressive left-handed opening batsman Awais Zia in the Silver category. A surprise selection by the Kings is of Australia’s Aaron Summers, who is unknown to the world, but he is a tearaway fast bowler, who can be the one to watch out for during the tournament. The talented leg-spinner Abrar Ahmed and the young talented cricketer Ali Imran made their way in the Emerging category.

The Supplementary picks for Karachi Kings are Ben Dunk, Aamer Yamin, Liam Livingstone and Jaahid Ali.

Karachi Kings’ squad looks fairly balanced with powerful batting line in the likes of Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro and Sikander Raza. Whereas, the bowling line looks extremely competent with Mohammad Amir, Usman Shinwari, Imad Wasim and Aaron Summers in the arsenal. All-rounders, Ravi Bopara and Sikander Raza provide the much-needed balance to the squad. Kings look threatening with the line-up.

Lahore Qalandars

Lahore Qalandars, the side who has been unlucky in all three seasons of the league, included arguably the most valuable player of PSL 4, AB De Villiers, in their squad. Qalandars look an extremely solid team with Mohammad Hafeez, Corey Anderson and Haris Sohail joining them. They already had a talented bunch of batsmen, Fakhar Zaman, Agha Salman and Sohail Akhter who are strengthened with the new additions. On the other hand, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Carlos Brathwaite and Shaheen Shah Afridi form a potent bowling attack.

If Lahore Qalandars change their strategy of going all guns blazing and chalk out a much workable strategy, they can improve their performance in the tournament.

The Sixth Team

As Multan Sultans contract got terminated by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the Sixth Team replaced the franchise, who is initially managed by the board. They 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 West Indian rising star Nicholas Pooran. They have experienced in the shape of Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi perfectly blended with young stars like Mohammad Abbas.

The things will get better for The Sixth Team, once their management is finalised. The side has all the ingredients to challenge the other five oppositions of the league.

Quetta Gladiators

The Sarfraz Ahmed led Quetta Gladiators have been consistent performers in all three seasons of the league. It does not seem like things will change much for the Gladiators. However, they may miss their middle-order batting force Kevin Petersen, but Shane Watson, Riley Russow. Umar Akmal and Dwayne Bravo are capable enough to fill the void. They have a quality spin attack with Sunil Narine, Fawad Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, and Mohammad Asghar in the rank.

Gladiators have been the fighters in the first three seasons of the PSL and they can be the top contenders to lift the trophy for the first time in the fourth season.

Peshawar Zalmi

The highlight for Peshawar Zalmi will be Darren Sammy and Misbah Ul Haq playing together in the fourth edition of the PSL. The former Islamabad United skipper wanted to continue as a player in the league, while the two-time champions offered him a mentor role, so he requested to part ways. Now, if he gets amalgamated with Sammy’s resilience, Zalmi will surely be a force to reckon. The Men in Yellow have a dynamic pace bowling attack with Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and Sameen Gul in the side. Moreover, they have an equally threatening batting line.

They have a team combination that can win matches on any wicket and both while batting first and second in a game.

Islamabad United

 

Islamabad United may miss their experienced skipper, Misbah Ul Haq in the fourth season of the PSL. Rumman Raees captained the side in the previous edition in the absence of Misbah, while JP Duminy took the responsibility to lead the team when Rumman got injured. However, the two-time winners are yet to select their skipper for the upcoming edition of the league.

Despite uncertainty regarding the captain, Islamabad United looks extremely balanced as always, they retained their eight local stars and Luke Ronchi from the previous episode of the league. The young guns, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Sahibzada Farhan and Asif Ali along with the experienced Mohammad Sami and Luke Ronchi are the key weapons for United.

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