After weeks of uncertainty, Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Thursday officially announced the restart date for the 2021 edition in Abu Dhabi. Season six of the Pakistan Cricket Board-owned T20 cricket tournament was suspended on March 4 after a spate of positive Covid-19 tests. Then, only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament.
While announcing the fixtures for the remaining 20 matches, the PCB CEO Wasim Khan said that “since its inception in 2016, the HBL PSL has embraced and overcome numerous challenges, emerging as a stronger and competitive league year-on-year."
Now, the interrupted season will resume on June 6 with the final date slated for June 25. Here's what you need to know:
What is Pakistan Super League?
Pakistan Super League is one of the many franchise-based T20 cricket tournaments owned and operated by national cricket boards, in the model of ultra-successful Indian Premier League (IPL). PSL was started in 2016. Not many boards have so far managed to replicate the success of the Indian cricket board's (BCCI) success in terms of monetary returns and participation, PSL sure commands a huge fan following. Cricket Australia's Big Bash League, Windies Cricket's Caribbean Premier League have their own charms. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which has disdainfully chastised the IPL when it was launched in 2008, now has its own 'The Hundred' - a different format, which many believe is its own IPL.
When it was launched in 2016, after two previous failed attempts, the league was competed by five teams - Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United, Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars. Multan Sultans became the sixth team to join the league in 2018.
Almost every Pakistan national team player has featured in the tournament with a sizeable presentable of foreign stars. Now, every team has 18 players in their respective squads. It was earlier 21. The composition is -- at least three Platinum, three Diamond, three Gold, five Silver and two Emerging players. They can also pick two supplementary players. It uses a draft system for player recruitment.
Winners and losers
Islamabad United are the most successful team with two title wins in 2016 and 2018. But Peshawar Zalmi are the most consistent side, playing three successive finals, including a win in 2017. They lost the 2018 and 2018 finals to Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators respectively. Karachi Kings are the defending champions.
Batting and bowling records
Babar Azam (Islamabad United, Karachi Kings) has the most runs - 1774 in 50 innings. Kamran Akmal ((Peshawar Zalmi) is second with 1606 runs in 60 innings. Shane Watson (Islamabad United, Quetta Gladiators) is third with 1361 runs in 46 innings.
Colin Ingram (Karachi Kings) has the highest score - 127 not out against Quetta Gladiators. Only six players have scored centuries. Kamran Akmal (3) and Sharjeel Khan (2) are the only players to have score multiple centuries.
Wahab Riaz (Peshawar Zalmi) has the most wickets (84, with best figures of 4/17) in 58 innings. Hasan Ali (Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi) is second with 65 wickets. His best figures are 4/15. Mohammad Amir (Karachi Kings) is third (53 with best figures of 4/25).
Best figures are owned by Ravi Bopara (Karachi Kings) - 6/16 against Lahore Qalandars. Faheem Ashraf and Umar Gul are the two other bowlers who have taken six wickets in an innings.
All You Need To Know About Abu Dhabi Leg
At the time of suspension, defending champions Karachi Kings were leading the points table with three wins from five outings, ahead of Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars on net run rate. Islamabad and Lahore, however, have a game each in hand. Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators were at the bottom with one win each from five outings.
Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans) was leading the scoring charts with 297 runs. Babar Azam (Karachi Kings) and Sharjeel Khan (Karachi Kings) completed the top three with 258 and 200 runs respectively.
Check updated squads
There was an exodus of foreign players following the outbreak of COVID-19 in its bio-bubble in Pakistan. But PSL has managed to rope in some big-name players for the Abu Dhabi leg.
Karachi Kings: Imad Wasim (c), Abbas Afridi, Amir Yamin, Arshad Iqbal, Babar Azam, Chadwick Walton, Danish Aziz, Martin Guptill, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Ilyas, Mohammad Haris, Thisara Perera, Najeebullah Zadran, Noor Ahmed, Qasim Akram, Sharjeel Khan, Waqas Maqsood and Zeeshan Malik.
Lahore Qalandars: Sohail Akhtar (c), Ahmed Danyal, Ben Dunk, Callum Ferguson, Dilbar Hussain, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, James Faulkner, Maaz Khan, Mohammad Faizan, Mohammad Hafeez, Rashid Khan, Salman Ali Agha, Seekuge Prasanna, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sultan Ahmed (replaces Joe Burns), Tim David, Zaid Alam and Zeeshan Ashraf.
Islamabad United: Shadab Khan (c), Ahmed Saifi Abdullah, Ali Khan, Akif Javed, Asif Ali, Colin Munro, Fawad Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Mohammad Akhlaq, Musa Khan, Rohail Nazir, Usman Khawaja, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Zameer.
Multan Sultans: Mohammad Rizwan (c), Hammad Azam, Imran Tahir, Imran Khan Snr, Johnson Charles, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Umar, Obed McCoy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Rilee Rossouw, Shahid Afridi, Shahnawaz Dhani, Shan Masood, Shimron Hetmyer (partially available), Sohaib Maqsood, Sohaibullah, Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Usman Qadir and Muhammad Waseem.
Quetta Gladiators: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Abdul Nasir, Andre Russell (partially available), Anwar Ali, Arish Ali Khan, Azam Khan, Cameron Delport, Faf du Plessis, Hassan Khan, Jack Wildermuth, Jake Weatherald, Khurram Shehzad, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood and Zahir Khan.
Peshawar Zalmi: Wahab Riaz (c), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Bismillah Khan, David Miller (partially available), Fabian Allen (partially available), Fidel Edwards (partially available), Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Irfan Snr, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Rovman Powell, Waqar Salamkheil, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, and Umaid Asif.
How to watch in India?
TV Channels: Sony Pictures Sports Networks
Live Streaming: SonyLIV
Fixtures for remaining matches
3-8 June - Practice
9 June - Lahore Qalandars vs Islamabad United
10 June - Multan Sultans vs Karachi Kings; Peshawar Zalmi vs Lahore Qalandars
11 June - Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators
12 June - Quetta Gladiators vs Peshawar Zalmi
13 June - Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars; Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi
14 June - Islamabad United vs Karachi Kings
15 June - Quetta Gladiators vs Lahore Qalandars; Peshawar Zalmi vs Karachi Kings
16 June - Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators
17 June - Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi; Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars
18 June - Multan Sultans vs Lahore Qalandars
19 June - Quetta Gladiators vs Karachi Kings; Multan Sultans vs Islamabad United
20 June - Practice
21 Jun - Qualifier (1 vs 2); Eliminator 1 (3 vs 4)
22 Jun - Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier vs winner Eliminator 1)
23 June – Rest/practice
24 Jun – Final
Matches start at 9:30 IST/PKT 9:00 PM/8:00 local. On double-headers day, first match starts at 6:30 PM IST and the second match at 11:30 PM IST.
All matches will be played all matches at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
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