The upcoming season of PSL is fast approaching, and many in the home country of Pakistan are ecstatic that the tournament is finally coming home in its entirety. The draft took place last month, and a selection of interesting yet exciting picks was made. Here is our list of 10 players to be excited for based on various factors such as youth potential, star power, legendary status, long-awaited returns and more. Enjoy!
10. Rumman Raees (Islamabad United)
Rumman Raees had shown the world his potential after rising through the ranks during 2017 and his excellent cameo at Pakistan’s winning campaign of Champions Trophy. However, the injury-plagued next two years have seriously hurt his career. According to recent reports though, he seems fit for this upcoming season and we are counting on him to surprise us with his excellent variations.
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9. Sharjeel Khan (Karachi Kings)
Source: Dunya News
The heavy-hitting Sharjeel Khan has been cleared to play after the unfortunate spot-fixing incident of PSL 3. He has been picked by Karachi Kings, and we expect him to show his batting prowess with the Kings just as he did with United in that magnificent season of PSL 2. He will also be looking to impress selectors at the PCB for consideration in the World T20, 2020.
8. Aamir Ali (Peshawar Zalmi)
This young man has a success story that people often read to feel good. The talented spinner from Sindh has been picked by Peshawar Zalmi after his impressive performances against South Africa for the Pakistan U-19 team. Aamir Ali, being referred to as the new Ajmal bowls deceptively good and is also a prime candidate to shine at the U-19 World Cup. He might be one of the solutions to the ongoing spin bowler draught in Pakistan.
7. Rohail Nazir (Multan Sultans)
Source: Daily Times
The Pakistan U-19 skipper is one to watch since his Emerging Asia Cup performance where he was the top run-getter and an impressive series against South Africa. His safe hands behind the wicket and hard yet consistent hitting also make him the obvious choice for the future Pakistan Cricket Team.
6. Dale Steyn (Islamabad United)
What is a franchise T20 league without its prominent international stars? Dale Steyn may not be at the peak of his career, but his debut season in the PSL is still bound to excite fans. The home crowds will witness this true legend of the game perform in front of them. Having one of the greatest fast bowlers in your league ever is no small feat.
5. Shane Watson (Quetta Gladiators)
Source: Bol News
Another legend of the game, especially the T20 format joins the PSL for another season. Shane Watson was the player of the series in the last edition of PSL, and even though he is approaching the age of 40, he still is as good as he was in the first season of IPL where he was also declared the player of the series. Truly a legend!
4. Jason Roy (Quetta Gladiators)
Source: The National Ae
Another Gladiator on this list, Jason Roy is one of the top batsmen in the world right now in limited-overs cricket. The recent World-Cup winner is a great addition to any T20 team, and being one of the top platinum players in the league, he will surely set stadiums on fire.
3. Tom Banton (Peshawar Zalmi)
The new kid on the block has been setting himself to be the next Chris Lynn of franchise cricket. The English master blaster has been setting franchise leagues ablaze across the globe. After an excellent showing for Somerset in the T20Blast and even more powerful performances for the Brisbane Heat in the BBL. Peshawar Zalmi could utilize Banton and Kamran Akmal as a destructive opening pair.
2. Babar Azam (Karachi Kings)
Source: Pakistan Today
Of course, no exciting players list is complete without the number one T20I batsman in the world, especially when the tournament is played in player's home country in its entirety. Babar Azam has had a phenomenal past year, cementing his place as one of the best batsmen in the world. Earning praise from legends across the globe. He will be a sight to see at the PSL 5.
1. Haris Rauf (Lahore Qalandars)
Source: Dunya News
After being ignored for the 2019 World Cup and the main Melbourne Stars team, how did Haris Rauf ended up here? He had the opportunity to be selected by the Stars as a replacement for the injured Steyn and boy did he take it. A 5-wicket haul, a hat-trick, and a man of the match award. 13 wickets in 4 matches, on the same pitches the World T20 2020 is supposed to be played in a few months. This is how you take destiny into your own hands. Haris Rauf must prove himself in the PSL as well if he is to be considered for the final squad that Pakistan will take to Australia. He will have the most eyes on him in this season of the PSL.
Feature image source: Cricket Opinion