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If you’ve completely missed the Twitter timeline on PSL draft days

Like there was no perfect day to open the much awaited Pakistan Super League (@thePSLt20) draft than Monday. Well we love everything on Monday if it’s about cricket. Most of you might have missed the cheering Twitter timeline on drafting days because you had a really busy day because you have to submit the first build of your project or you smashed your phone in your windscreen because an old man in a Toyota 88-model behind you lost his mind because you were not moving. Whatever the tragedy did happen I just brought you here to tell you what you need to know about Pakistan Super League draft.

Dr. Nasim Ashraf will be surprised to see the event finally getting a life. You might figure this PSL draft was just a drafting process and league matches will decide everything. You’d be right, and wrong. If you haven’t seen excitement scrolling down your timeline when Karachi selected Amir then you’re right. There were best picks, intelligent picks, please-don’t-pick-him picks and oh-crap picks.

PSL has just five teams so you don’t have to worry about remembering all of them. Karachi Kings (@KarachiKingsARY)  is led by Malik (@realshoaibmalik) and they also picked Sohail Tanvir. Islamabad United (@IsbUnited) isn’t the best team according to a voting process on ESPNCricinfo but they’re still a balanced side with captain The Savior Misbah (@captainmisbahpk). Then comes Lahore Qalandars (@lahoreqalandars), team with most powerful batting side, with Umer Akmal (@mdk_gul) and Gayle (@henrygayle) along with Rizwan and Bravo (@Newbigdog) to get the party going. They’re relying on Mustafizur and Messi Shah ji (@Shah64Y) in their bowling department. Peshawar Zalmi (@PeshawarZalmi), I like the name though, picked Abdur Rehman, who was barred for three illegal full-tosses but they picked Darren Sammy, Kamran, Junaid and Wahab to back their Rehman-pick up. Last but not least, Quetta Gladiators, least talked about team, under the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed. They have got Gul and Anwar Ali on the top of their bowling stack. A total of 16 players were supposed to be picked from four categories – Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, and Emerging. Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Shane Watson, Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen were those players who were picked in the first round. Afridi’s past performance in limited over format was a question mark on his pick but let’s not talk about business haier… I mean here.

Lahore Qalandars have picked Hammad Azam, Zafar Gohar and Zia ul Haq. Zafar was failed in putting him up as a good player in his last T20 match against Abbotabad Region and ODI against England in November this year. He was on losing side in both of these plays. Hammad has a good performance in domestic games and he must have to work on his batting skills, although he is an economical bowler in middle overs. Zia plays shots with his eyes closed and that’s what it makes him a batsman to experience with in power play overs.

Karachi Kings have got Imad Wasim and Bilawal Bhatti in their bowling platoon and world knows what they can do in last overs if you really need them. Shakib is there to help them out in both departments and Karachi Kings is the team with most iconic player of the PSL and BPL, Mohammad Amir from Gold Category, pure gold. Everyone seemed to have their eyes fixed on battle between King’s Amir and Zalmi’s Hafeez. They say Amir is new Steyn and I’ve never been good at disagreeing with observations like that.

Zalmi feel excited to have Sammy who led his team to their first world title since the 1979 World Cup with an inspiring victory over Sri Lanka in the 2012 World Twenty20 final. Imran Khan who also stole a show is made a return as a mentor to Zalmis. They’ve Chris Jordan, who didn’t take a single wicket in last T20 series between England and Pakistan. Jim Allenby might be a new name to you in cricket but just to let you guys know, this lad had his 33th birthday three months ago and he had scored 2 centuries and 18 half-centuries throughout his twenty20 carrier. I can see a wave of relief finally coming over Zalmi supporters. Tamim is there to get the attention with his extraordinary skills with the bat.

Team playing under head coach Dean Jones (who will be missed in commentary box), is Islamabad United. Can someone who knows stats tell me why they picked Andre Russell form Platinum category? Well they got Haddin behind the wickets to grab all the outside edges going away from him. Big man Irfan is there to throw some real quick bouncers and to run into the danger zone. Islamabad United don’t have big names in their Supplementary category unlike other teams. All eyes are focused on their first pick, Shane Watson.

PSL Draft Wahab & Watson

With their first pick 35 year old Kevin Peter Pietersen, Quetta Gladiators seems to be a stronger side with Luke Wright and one of the best twenty20 bowlers, Umar Gul. Zimbabwean batsman has a good bad recording against Pakistan, he scored a hundred in their recent visit to Pakistan and played a quick 54 of 35 in first twent20 international. They have to use Asad Shafiq as well, I’m not saying he isn’t worth or he isn’t a twenty20 material but he just has hard time of it. Their head coach is Moin and they have Sangakara in their supplementary category.

The schedule of PSL fixtures has been announced with the tournament to kick off on from 4th of Feb and final on 23rd Feb 2016. A total of 24 matches will be played between the five teams and tournament will be hosted by UAE in Dubai and Sharjah. All teams will play each other twice before the top four teams qualify for the playoffs round. An air ticket to Dubai will cost you at least 30k and visit to nearest restaurant screening PSL match will 2k. So make a choice, go jump for joy and tweet like “Man! This feels so wonderful”

I’m done here but if you still want to know who’s gone to which team in the PSL, there’s a real nice post on Espncricinfo about it. Hope you all are having a super fantastic weekend and enjoying some mild temperatures since this winter appears to be over.

Until later!

PSL Draft Umer Akmal

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