Karachi Kings to rely on usual suspects for Pakistan Super League 6
The players draft for the Pakistan Super League season 6 took place on Sunday in Lahore, where all six franchises picked their 18-man squad for the February-March event, and defending champions Karachi Kings were keen on keeping their core players intact, but did experiment in the silver and emerging categories.
Karachi retained eight players from PSL season 5 namely, right-handed batsman Babar Azam, left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir, South African Colin Ingram, all-rounder Imad Wasim, all-rounder Amir Yamin, left-handed opener Sharjeel Khan, left-arm pacer Waqas Maqsood and and right-arm medium fast pacer Arshad Iqbal.
With the move, the Kings made sure they are again set to challenge for the title when things start rolling in the sixth season of PSL.
Meanwhile, when asked to pick players during the draft, Karachi picked wicketkeeper-batsman Chadwick Walton, in the gold category, who represented them last year too. Meanwhile, English 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Joe Clarke, picked in the silver category, was chosen as the second option if Karachi need someone to replace Walton behind the stumps.
Another good pick for Karachi came in the diamond category when they picked Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi in the diamond category.
Another player that may prove to be one of the quality foreign picks for Karachi this season is Australian Dan Christian. Considered one of the most natural all-rounders, the 37-year-old may bring the Midas touch that the Kings will need to successfully defend their title.
A surprise grab for Karachi was right-arm pacer Mohammad Ilyas in the silver category, who they plucked from Multan Sultans. Ilyas represented Sultans in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but this year he will be wearing the Karachi blues during the PSL.
Apart from these players, Karachi relied on domestic performances to select Danish Aziz and Zeeshan Maik in the silver category. In the emerging category, Karachi picked Qasim Akram. Meanwhile, they selected a 16-year-old up and coming Afghan star Noor Ahmad as their supplementary pick.
If you have one of the world’s best batsmen across all formats, Babar, in your side, looking at some other willow wielder to carry the torch in batting seems like a crime.
Babar was the player of the season during PSL5 and also the one with most runs during the stop-start 2020 edition and he bagged three player-of-the-match awards for the Kings, which included the player of the final award.
With him in the side, Karachi won’t have to worry about setting big targets or chasing mammoth totals. With him playing the anchor role for Karachi, other players will have the freedom to go ballistic when and however necessary to help Kings’ endeavor of becoming the first team to successfully defend the PSL winners’ title.
Karachi didn’t go for big names in the bowling department and will mostly rely on local talent to deliver the goods for them, and with Amir present in the middle, the youngsters and less experienced pacers will always have someone to look up to and ask for help.
Amir may have been out of the national fray for a while, but no one can deny that his sole presence in the bowling department for Karachi makes them a formidable side to score runs against.
Even if people had doubts about him in the last edition, he cleared them all with his near-perfect super over during last year’s PSL to help Karachi make it to their first-ever final.
Meanwhile, his exploits in the Lanka Premier League were also a sign that he is still far away from hanging his boots for good.