Ashraf Ali Siddiqui looks at some Rising stars of PSL
Pakistan Super League Rising stars of PSL have brought forward some outstanding cricketers who have performed excellently in the field. Their performance has been highly rated in international circles as well. PSL is now recognised to be the best nursery for Pakistani cricket as it has produced so many players that the game has no dearth of players.
PSL has produced an outstanding player in shape of Shaheen Shah Afridi who became the first captain to lift the Pakistan Super League trophy twice. He helped Lahore in two consecutive seasons to become the first champion to defend their title at the tender age of 22. He is rated to be cricket’s lethal left-arm pacer and is also a dependable all-rounder.
Imad Wasim is an all-rounder with real merit. The left-hander became the tournament’s fifth-highest run-scorer and also finished as his side’s joint top wicket-taker and only three bowlers in the entire league gave away runs at a lower rate while taking as many wickets as Imad’s nine. Though Karachi Kings gave in woeful performances but captain Imad’s performance remained flawless.
Ihsanullah is a fast bowler who finished the tournament as its second-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets. Ihsanullah was the star of the Multan bowling line-up though and was rated as the tournament’s best bowler after Rashid Khan. This is a remarkable achievement for a 20-year-old bowler who had bowled just 141 deliveries in his entire T20 career before this PSL. The Swat-born pacer became not only the youngest player of the tournament in PSL history but also the first bowler to ever win the award.
Muhammad Rizwan, the Multan skipper has scored 500 or more runs in each of the last three PSL editions since becoming Multan Sultans captain. The achievement is put into perspective by the fact that all other batsmen across eight editions combined have only managed to breach that 500-run mark as many times as Rizwan has on his own in the past three editions. Rizwan was inspirational as both batsman and captain as he guided Multan to their third consecutive final under his leadership.
Babar Azam is also the captain of Pakistani national side and is head and shoulders above everyone else on the list of run-getters in PSL history with his tally of 2,935 runs. Babar scored 522 runs in the tournament, dwarfing the combined efforts of Shoaib Malik (200) and Haider Ali (109), the two players Karachi brought in to replace him after he left the side. That he did so at a better strike rate than the platinum batsman in Karachi King’s team must have been intensely satisfying for him considering Kings were eager to point to his slow batting as a reason for their poor performances last year.
Abbas Afridi ended up as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker but still considered only the third-best bowler of their side after Ihsanullah and Usama Mir. The 21-year-old has proven himself to be a canny operator and does not shy away from bowling when the pressure is at its highest. If he can build on the 17-not-out he scored off six deliveries in the final, then there is a fast-bowling all-rounder spot in the Pakistan side that he can pretty much walk into. TW