Pakistan Super League 2021 preview: Everything you need to know

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Our Pakistan Super League 2021 Preview includes analysis of the defending champions Karachi Kings.
Karachi Kings' cricketers celebrate with the trophy after winning the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket final match between the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars at the National Stadium in Karachi on November 17, 2020. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

PSL 6 Preview: Can the Karachi Kings retain their title?

Welcome to our Pakistan Super League 2021 preview!

PSL 6 will begin on Saturday the 20th of February, with the Karachi Kings taking on Quetta Gladiators. The Karachi Kings are the current champions and so will be eager to begin this new campaign with a win.

With matches scheduled to play from February through to March, this years’ competition is the sixth edition of the Twenty20 contest. Six teams will be competing to get to the final, scheduled to take place on the 22nd of March.

The teams taking part are Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans, Peshawar Zalmi, and the Quetta Gladiators.

To limit travel, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all 34 games will all be played in Karachi and Lahore. The first 17 matches will be played at the National Stadium in Karachi. Then, from March 10, the remaining 17 matches will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.

Attendance at matches will be limited to 20% venue capacity. This means around 7,500 spectators will be permitted inside the National Stadium and around 5,500 inside the Gaddafi Stadium.

In this article, we will have a full Pakistan Super League preview for the 2021 season.

The Pakistan Super League format

Every team will play each other twice in the league stages. The top four teams then advance to the knockout stages. First and second places will play each other in a qualifier, with the winner going through to the final.  Third and fourth places will play each other in an eliminator.

The winner of the eliminator and the loser of the qualifier then play each other. The winner of this goes through to make up the other half of the final.

The Pakistan Super League squads

Islamabad United

Despite winning the competition twice, in 2016 and 2018, Islamabad finished last in 2020. But with new head coach Johan Botha, United will expect to be more competitive this year.

As head coach of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Botha managed two consecutive second place finishes in the CPL. The South African will no doubt be hoping he can go one better with Islamabad in the PSL.

Squad: Chris Jordan (All Rounder) Alex Hales (Batsman) Colin Munro (Batsman) Iftikhar Ahmed (Batsman) Reece Topley (Bowler). Zafar Gohar (All Rounder) Hasan Ali (Bowler) Asif Ali (Batsman) Hussain Talat (All Rounder) Shadab Khan (All Rounder) Lewis Gregory (Bowler) Faheem Ashraf (All Rounder) Rohail Nazir (Batsman) Musa Khan (Bowler) Philip Salt (Batsman) Akif Javed (Bowler)  Ahmed Safi Abdullah (Bowler) Mohammad Waseem (Bowler)

Karachi Kings

The defending champions, Karachi Kings can boast of having marvellous batting talent headlined by Pakistani national team captain, Babar Azam.

Azam racked up 473 runs in last years’ competition, including a half-century in the final. For his efforts, he received the PSL 5 green cap. He was also named player of the series.

But although they still have their star batsman, the Karachi Kings has=ve lost some of their other big hitters from last year. High scoring batsman Alex Hales has joined Islamabad. Cameron Delport is now with the Quetta Gladiators. So, the champions might be a little weaker going into this campaign.

Squad: Aamer Yamin (All Rounder) Arshad Iqbal (Bowler) Babar Azam (Batsman) Chadwick Walton (Batsman) Mohammad Ilyas (Bowler) Colin Ingram (Batsman) Daniel Christian (All Rounder) Danish Aziz (All Rounder) Imad Wasim (All Rounder) Joe Clarke (Batsman) Mohammad Amir (Bowler) Noor Ahmad (Bowler) Qasim Akram (Bowler) Sharjeel Khan (Batsman) Waqas Maqsood (Bowler). Zeeshan Malik (Batsman). Abbas Afridi (All Rounder) Mohammad Nabi (All Rounder)

Karachi King’s Babar Azam (L) raises his bat after his fiftieth run while his teammate Chadwick Walton looks on during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket final match between the Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars at the National Stadium in Karachi on November 17, 2020. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

 

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Lahore Qalandars

Runners-up last year, Lahore Qalandars will hope their big signing, Rashid Khan, can make the difference this campaign. The 22 year old spin bowler was named T20 Player of the Decade by the ICC in 2020, and a lot is expected of him. But this is the Afghan’s first time playing in the PSL, how will he take to it?

Squad: Samit Patel (Bowler)  Mohammad Hafeez (All Rounder) Joe Denly (Batsman)  David Wiese (All Rounder)  Ben Dunk (Batsman) Rashid Khan (Bowler) Fakhar Zaman (Batsman) Shaheen Afridi (Bowler) Salman Ali Agha (All Rounder) Sohail Akhtar (Batsman) Zaid Alam (Batsman)  Haris Rauf (Bowler) Zeeshan Ashraf (Batsman) Dilbar Hussain (Bowler)  Maaz Khan (Bowler) Tom Abell (Batsman) Mohammad Faizan (Batsman) Ahmad Danyal (Bowler)

Multan Sultans

Next in our Pakistan Super League preview is the Multan Sultans. Founded in 2017, they are the newest team in the PSL and are yet to win a championship. But, they go into this campaign on the back of making the knockout stages for the first time last year.

The Sultans finished the league stage of PSL 5 in first place. However, they lost a super over tie to the Karachi Kings in the qualifier. Going into PSL 6, head coach Andy Flower has made some significant changes. Wicket-keeper Mohammed Rizwan is now captain of the team, replacing Shan Masood.

Squad: Adam Lyth (Batsman)  James Vince (Batsman)  Imran Tahir (Bowler)  Carlos Brathwaite (All Rounder)  Shahid Afridi (All Rounder)  Sohail Tanvir (All Rounder)  Sohail Khan (Bowler)  Shan Masood (Batsman)  Mohammad Imran Khan (Bowler).  Rilee Rossouw (Batsman)  Sohaib Maqsood (Batsman)  Mohammad Rizwan (Batsman)  Chris Lynn (Batsman)  Usman Qadir (Bowler)  Khushdil Shah (All Rounder)  Sohaibullah (Bowler)  Mohammad Umar (Bowler)  Shahnawaz Dhani (Bowler)

Shaheen Shah Afridi will be crucial to the Lahore Qalandars chances.
Lahore Qalandars Shaheen Afridi (R) celebrates the wicket of Islamabad United Asif Ali (L) walks back to the pavilion during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 cricket match between Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on February 23, 2020. (Photo by Arif ALI / AFP) (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)

 

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Peshawar Zalmi

Champions of PSL 2, Peshawar Zalmi finished fourth in the league stages of PSL 5. They lost to Lahore in the first eliminator. New editions to the team for this campaign include veteran all-rounder Ravi Bopara.

Playing for the Multan Sultans, Bopara had a disappointing PSL 5. With the bat, he scored just 17 runs, and picked up no wickets. He will be a player out to prove something this year.    

Squad: Aamir Khan (Bowler)  Abrar Ahmed (Bowler)  Amad Butt (All Rounder)  David Miller (Batsman) Haider Ali (Batsman) Imam-ul-Haq (Batsman) Kamran Akmal (Batsman)  Mohammad Imran (Bowler) Mohammad Imran Randhawa (Bowler) Muhammad Irfan (Bowler) Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Bowler)  Ravi Bopara (All Rounder)  Saqib Mahmood  (Bowler)  Sherfane Rutherford   (Bowler) Shoaib Malik (All Rounder) Umaid Asif  (Bowler)  Wahab Riaz (Bowler)  Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Batsman)

Quetta Gladiators

Winners of the 2019 edition of the competition, Quetta failed to make the knockout stage last year. They will be hoping new signing Chris Gayle can help propel them to the summit again.

At the very least, the franchise will be hoping to improve on the last years’ disappointing campaign. At 42 years old, can Chris Gayle inspire the franchise?

Squad: Abdul Nasir (All Rounder) Anwar Ali (All Rounder)  Arish Ali Khan (Bowler)  Azam Khan (Batsman) Ben Cutting (All Rounder) Cameron Delport (Batsman) Chris Gayle (All Rounder)  Dale Steyn (Bowler) Mohammad Hasnain (Bowler)  Mohammad Nawaz (All Rounder) Naseem Shah (Bowler)  Qais Ahmad (All Rounder) Saim Ayub (Batsman) Sarfaraz Ahmed (Batsman) Tom Banton (Batsman). Usman Khan (Batsman). Usman Shinwari (Bowler)  Zahid Mahmood (Bowler) Faf du Plessis (Batsman)

Pakistan Super League preview: First week fixtures

Saturday, February 20: Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators

Sunday, February 21: Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi; Islamabad United v Multan Sultans

Monday, February 22: Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators

Tuesday, February 23: Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans

Wednesday, February 24: Karachi Kings v Islamabad United

Friday, February 26: Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans; Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators

Further fixtures, standings, and scores can be found on the Pakistan Super League official website.

We hope you enjoyed our Pakistan Super League preview

 

Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images

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