Pakistan Super League curtain-raiser

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Image courtesy Twitter account of Islamabad United
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The Pakistan Super League 2021 is set to resume in the first week of June in Abu Dhabi after month-long negotiations between the Pakistan Cricket Board and Emirates Cricket Board.

In March, the PCB had put off the remainder of the league when it was in full swing, due to the coronavirus outbreak among contingents of various franchises.

Seven players and staffers of PSL teams, including Islamabad United leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, had tested positive for the virus.

Almost three months later, the league is set to resume with reigning champions Karachi Kings sitting pretty at the top of the points table.

Fans are elated to see new faces in the second phase of the league as few overseas players have excused from rejoining the league due to other commitments.

Islamabad clinch Amin, Khawaja

Shadab Khan-led Islamabad United have roped in two left-handed openers – Usman Khawaja and Umer Amin.

Khawaja has the skills to give blistering starts to United in the power plays, something that Shadab’s men have failed to do till now.

The Australian prodigy has years of Big Bash League experience that will benefit United in the long run.

Guptill heads to Karachi

As if Karachi Kings lacked T20 specialist batsmen in their top order, they have signed New Zealand opener Martin Guptill as well for the remainder of the season.

Kings President and former Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, has confirmed that Guptill will play at number three, whereas the Babar Azam-Sharjeel Khan duo will continue to open the innings.

The Kiwi player has bolstered the chances of Imad Wasim’s men posting gigantic totals.

Chadwick Walton has returned to the side, whereas former Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera has joined the Kings’ camp for the first time.

No Boom Boom for Multan

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi will sit out the rest of the PSL action due to a back injury.

Boom Boom revealed on Twitter that his back started giving problems during off-season training.

Lala was in supreme form with Multan Sultans, chipping in with the ball consistently.

It will be interesting to see how Sultans skipper Mohammad Rizwan will cope with the loss of such an experienced T20 campaigner.

On the other hand, Sultans have affirmed that Shimron Hetmyer’s arrival is also on the cards.

Lahore lose Shakib

Lahore Qalandars and Bangladesh all-rounder, Shakib-ul-Hasan, has opted not to play the remainder of the PSL, citing participation in the Dhaka Premier League.

Joe Burns will also miss the Abu Dhabi leg.

The Qalandars have picked UAE spinner Sultan Ahmed in the replacement draft to fill the void.

Singapore’s Tim David is also an unexpected addition to Lahore’s team.

Quetta play the draft smartly

Quetta Gladiators made the most of the replacement picks as they roped in Australia’s duo of Jack Wildermuth and Jake Weatherald, along with Afghanistan bowler Zahir Khan and local fast-bowler Khurram Shehzad.

Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men are languishing at the bottom of the table with only two points.

Hence, they have revamped their squad with the addition of a few foreign youngsters.

Zalmi get Miller, Edwards

Fidel Edwards has seemed to have impressed Peshawar Zalmi with his County stint in the recent past.

Zalmi have signed him, David Miller and Fabian Allen.

The Zalmi management men have given a clear indication that they will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to lift their second PSL title.