Cricket:The 8th edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is expected to feature 21 international and 15 local players, and is set to debut with an exhibition match in Quetta on February 5. The league will then be played in various cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Rawalpindi, from February 13 to March 19.
This edition of the PSL has the highest number of matches scheduled to take place in Rawalpindi, with 11 matches to be held there.
Karachi and Lahore will host 9 matches each, while Multan will host 5. 21 new international players will participate in the league for the first time, including Adil Rashid and Andrew Tye among others, who will play for different teams such as Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, Lahore Qalandars, and Islamabad United.
Aside from the international players, there are also local talents making their debut in the PSL. These players include Aamer Jamal from Peshawar Zalmi, AhsanBhatti from Lahore Qalandars, and Aimal Khan from Quetta Gladiators. The list also includes Arafat Minhas from Multan Sultans, Haseebullah from Peshawar Zalmi, and Hassan Nawaz from Islamabad United. Irfan Khan Niazi will represent Karachi Kings, while MirzaTahirBaig will play for Lahore Qalandars. Mohammad ‘Karnal’ Zahid and Mohammad SarwarAfridi will play for Quetta Gladiators and Multan Sultans, respectively. Other local players making their debut include Omair Bin Yousuf, Saud Shakeel, ShawaizIrfan, SufyanMuqeem, and TayyabTahir. These players have the opportunity to make a big impact and showcase their skills in the upcoming edition of the PSL.
In PSL 8, Lahore Qalandars aim to win consecutive championships, while Islamabad United seeks to be the first team to win three championships since 2016.
Babar Azam has scored 2,413 runs in 68 matches over the course of the PSL’s seven-year history, although he has yet to score his first century. With 1,972 runs in 75 innings and three centuries to his credit, Kamran Akmal, who will be absent from the competition, is the second-highest run scorer. Sharjeel Khan, the explosive opener, has scored two hundreds, and FakharZaman, RileeRossouw, Cameron Delport, Colin Ingram, Chris Lynn, UsmanKhawaja, Harry Brook, and Jason Roy have each hit a century.
The lone bowler in the PSL to surpass 100 wickets is WahabRiaz of Peshawar Zalmi. He leads Hasan Ali (81), Shaheen Shah Afridi (70), and Shadab Khan in terms of the number of wickets he has taken in 77 matches (65).
Mohammad Rizwan of the Multan Sultans will try to surpass Akmal as the PSL’s most productive wicketkeeper in Akmal’s absence. Sarfaraz Ahmed ranks third with 43 dismissals, two dismissals ahead of Rizwan (60 dismissals), who is two dismissals behind Kamran.