Thursday, 2 December 2021

Four things to look forward in PSL 2017

Among the several other top picks during this year’s draft, McCullum is probably the most attractive of them due to this attacking style of batting and dynamic captaincy. He was made Lahore Qalandars’ captain earlier replacing Azhar Ali. His dynamic captaincy took New Zealand cricket into the ‘modern age’ of cricket. Under his captaincy, a talented but unsure bunch of cricketers were transformed into world beaters. We can only wait if he could instil the same amount of self-assurance in his team Qalandars as well. McCullum’s abilities need no introduction. He’s the finest T20 batsman of all-time who has performed exceptionally well in leagues all over the world including IPL, Big Bash, BPL and CPL.

When Zimbabwe toured Pakistan in 2015 for three ODI and two T20 match series, the country experienced international cricket after a long while, experience the cricket-starved country didn’t have for several years. Even though the series was against a lowly-ranked Zimbabwe, the buzz around the country was unimaginable. This was the real deal. Many in Pakistan see this year’s PSL as an opportunity for the return of international cricket in the country, as this year’s PSL final has been scheduled to be played in Lahore, an announcement set alive real hopes of the revival of international cricket in Pakistan. Although it’s just one match out of the entire tournament, Pakistan cricket fans would graciously take it at this point.

Last year, Lahore Qalandars were tagged as one of the favourites to win the tournament with big guns like Chris Gayle in the squad. However, to everyone’s surprise, they finished at the bottom of the table. But this year would be a fresh start for Qalandars who would be captained by former kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum, often credited with taking New Zealand to play modern, aggressive style cricket. They also managed to bag England’s top-order batsman Jason Roy during the drafts. With players like Sunil Narine, Umar Akmal and Sohail Tanvir in the team, Qalandars have the potential to beat any team on any given day and their performance would surely be something to look forward to.

Pakistan cricket’s showpiece event is not just about fun or entertainment; it could make or break few careers too. The event has provided a platform for players like Ahmad Shehzad, Kamran Akmal, Shahzaib Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Aamir Yamin and others to impress the national selectors and revive their careers. The tournament would also give an opportunity to some players that are already in the squad but still haven’t cemented their place in the team. Players like Junaid Khan, Babar Azam, Umar Akmal, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez and few others fall in this list.

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