There couldn’t have been a better way to start the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) than a face-off between the current and former captain of the Pakistan team. Current Pakistan skipper Babar Azam led Karachi Kings will be up against the former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed’s Quetta gladiators at the National Stadium in Karachi to start the PSL.
This will be the second time when an entire season of the PSL is being hosted in Pakistan. The 2020 edition was the first such instance. However, the 2020 season couldn’t be completed as the Playoffs were postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic. This time around the Pakistan Cricket Board is all geared up to give a world-class treatment to one of the fastest-growing T20 leagues in the world.
The Karachi Kings is brimming with talent. On paper, it looks like a team to beat at the start of the tournament. The likes of Babar Azam, Colin Ingram and Dan Christian are some of the most sought after batsmen going around in league cricket. If they are combined with the bowling might of Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim alongside the all-round abilities of Mohammad Nabi, could be a dangerous combination for any opposition.
The young guns in the form of Danis Aziz, Arshad Iqbal and Mohammad Ilyas could be handy as well and so could be the veteran opening batsman Sharjeel Khan. The cocktail of youth and experience and mixed readily with some brilliant foreign stars could make a team that would be very hard to beat.
While Quetta Gladiators have great batsmen in their ranks in the form of skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Ben Cutting Faf du Plessis, who is in as a partial replacement for Chris Gayle and the dynamic Tom Banton. However it is their young bowling unit comprising of Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Anwar Ali, Usman Shinwari, Mohammad Nawaz and Zahid Mahmood, that is hugely impressive. Among the six bowlers, you can pick any four and still on any given day, they have the capabilities to topple any batting lineup.
Match Number- 01
Date and Time: 20th February, 07:30 pm IST, 07:00 pm Local, 02:00 pm GMT
Venue: National Stadium, Karachi
Broadcast and Live Stream: Sony Ten and Sony LIV
The Karachi pitch historically has favoured batters in the evening games. The average first innings score has been 173 while that in the second innings dips down to 130. This is evidence that the wicket gets slower as the match progresses. However, one thing that must be kept in mind is that the recent record is for matches which would start in the day time. This one will be an evening game and dew too will play its part. Also, since it is going to be a fresh wicket, most likely high scoring game will be on offer.
The skies are expected to be clear with no cloud cover predicted. The humidity is minimal sending signals that dew will be a possibility at the venue. If a captain wins the toss, he would most likely go for bowl first.
Babar Azam (c), Sharjeel Khan, Colin Ingram, Chadwick Walton (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Daniel Christian, Imad Wasim, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Arshad Iqbal, Waqas Maqsood
Faf du Plessis, Tom Banton, Cameron Delport, Azam Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Ben Cutting, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Zahid Mahmood
Babar Azam (c), Tom Banton, Colin Ingram, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Nabi, Daniel Christian, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah
Sri Lankan fast bowler Dhammika prasad has bid adieu to international cricket. Prasad, 37, started his international career in 2008 and played his last game in Sri Lankan colour in 2015. In his seven-year-old career, the SSC man played 25 Tests and 24 ODIs. He has 107 international wickets with one five-wicket haul to his credit. He also played one T20I In batting, Prasad scored 505 runs, 47 being his highest score. The Ragama born has had a long First-Class career spanning from 2000-01 till August 2020. In the 130 First-Class games, Prasad took 351 wickets and scored 2485 runs. "I have enjoyed every bit. Marvan Atapattu was the person who invited me to SSC. I have a lot of people to thank, God, my parents, my wife, my school, all my coaches, curators, teammates, fans and of course the media,” Prasad told the media while communicating the news of his retirement.
Former India cricketer and mentor of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, VVS Laxman has said that there is no clarity about the venues of the Indian Premier League for the 2021 edition of the IPL. "There's no clarity as of now (about the venue of the IPL). The BCCI will weigh various options, and [do] whatever is best for the tournament," said the 46-year-old who was also present at the SRH table during the IPL mini auctions. Laxman, who has more than 8000 Test runs for India, congratulated the Board of Control for Cricket in India for putting up a great show last year, hosting the IPL in UAE. "We know it's a high-profile tournament and there are various stakeholders who play a very important part in the tournament. Credit to BCCI the way they conducted the tournament in the UAE following all the protocols given the pandemic,” he said. In the mini auctions that were held in Chennai on 18th February, Sunrisers filled their squad with three players. They picked Mujeeb-Ur-Rahman of Afghanistan, India middle-order batsman Kedar Jadhav and spinner Jagadeesha Suchith.
The IPL 2021 mini auctions were concluded on Thursday with some of the players grabbing whooping amounts of money while few of the big names turned out to be surprise picks after they went for a lesser sum as expected. Here is a look at some of the players who turned out to be good bargains for the franchises. Steve Smith Former Australia captain Steve Smith was released by the Rajasthan Royals ahead of the mini auctions. The right-handed batsman became the first purchase of the day when he went to Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.2 Cr. Smith’s bid amount even surprised the DC co-owner. "It was just incredible to get Steve Smith. We are shocked about how he went only for Rs 2.2 crore, but to get a player of the calibre of Steve Smith, it's going to add a lot to our squad, a lot to our balance. His leadership, his batting, his experience, everything. Everyone associated with Delhi is just thrilled. We discussed Smith's name before the auction and we thought that he would go for much higher, so we had thought that if an opportunity arises, we will go for him, but we never anticipated actually getting him," Jindal said. Smith has been a part of Pune Warriors India, Rising Pune Supergiant and RR in the earlier editions. He has so far played a total of 95 IPL matches scoring 2333 runs at an average of over 35. DC Full Squad: Shreyas Iyer (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings Dawid Malan England opener Dawid Malan is probably the finest T20 batsman at the moment. The left-handed batsman went to Punjab Kings at the base price of Rs 1.5 Cr. This was one of the finest bids made by the Punjab franchise. Presently ranked at number one in the shortest format of the game, Malan has played 19 T20Is spring 855 runs at a strike rate of just under 150 and an average of 53.4. Punjab Kings Full Squad: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Ishan Porel, Sarfaraz Khan, Murugan Ashwin, Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Prabhsimran Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Arshdeep Singh, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar Mohammed Azharuddeen The Royal Challengers Bangalore made a few good calls and buying Mohammed Azharuddeen at his base price of Rs 20 lakhs was one of them. Azharuddeen made headlines recently after notching up a stunning ton in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Kerala against Mumbai. He ended the tournament with a total tally of 214 runs in 5 matches. RCB full Sqaud: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Kane Richardson, Washington Sundar, Pavan Deshpande, Joshua Philippe, Shahbaz Ahamad, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Kyle Jamieson, Glenn Maxwell, Rajat Patidar, Sachin Baby, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Dan Christian, KS Bharat, Suyash Prabhudessai, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel Ben Cutting Next in the list is Ben Cutting who was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a base price of Rs 75 lakhs. Cutting had a decent run at the BBL 10 while playing for Sydney Thunder and can prove to be a brilliant pick in the IPL 2021. He has been a part of MI, RR and SRH camps in the IPL earlier. He was first bought by RR in 2014 while he then moved to SRH for the 2016-17 season before getting picked up by MI in the 2018-19 season. KKR Full Squad: Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Seifert, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi, Vaibhav Arora and Karun Nair. Umesh Yadav It would be a homecoming for the fast bowler Umesh Yadav after he was bought by Delhi Capitals for a base price of Rs 1 Cr. Initially, no one really showed much interest in the right-arm quick but Delhi franchise eventually got him. Yadav is probably one of the fastest bowlers in the country but his problem of leaking runs at high economy rate can prove costly. In 121 IPL matches that Umesh has played, he has picked up 119 wickets at an economy of over 8 and an average of 30.07. Umesh was earlier released by RCB ahead of the auctions. He has been a part of KKR, Delhi Daredevils and RCB in the previous editions.
The sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is all set to begin from 20th February and Indian cricket fans too can watch the broadcast and live and exclusive, on TV and will be live-streamed on the web and applications as well. In the first game of the PSL-6, Karachi Kings would take on the Quetta Gladiators at the National Stadium in Karachi. The game will start at 7 pm local time which would be 07.30 pm IST. The broadcast is going all around the cricketing world. The Indian cricket fans can watch all the matches on the Sony Sports Network and the can catch the live steam of all the games on the Sony LIV app as well. Sony Pictures Network has got the rights of the PSL for entire South Asia and the likes of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan too will get a live broadcast of PSL through Sony. While in Pakistan the people can enjoy the live broadcast on the national broadcaster PTV, private TV channel Geo Super also has the rights of the broadcast. In the UK and New Zealand, Sky Sports will show the competition. SuperSport has got the rights of the competition for South Africa and the people in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean will enjoy the broadcast of one of the most popular cricket leagues in the world through Willow TV. The people in Australia, the Middle East, and North Africa will get their live feed through Tapmad TV. The squads of the competing teams and the rest of all the information are available here. OneCricket would also be bringing you the ball by ball commentary of all the PSL games on your mobile phones and on our website.