PSL 4: Multan Sultans Preview
LAST SEASON'S PERFORMANCE
Multan Sultans were the newly inducted side in the Pakistan Super League last season and they started off strongly. However, the sudden dip in form meant that their inaugural season ended disappointingly, with the unable to qualify for the playoffs. The side played 10 matches, winning 4 and 1 match being washed out.
The leading run scorer for the Sultans turned out to be the veteran Sri Lankan wicketkeeper batsman Kumar Sangakara, who accumulated 269 runs in 9 innings with 3 fifties and highest score of 63.
The Lahore born South African leg spinner Imran Tahir was their leading wicket taker, with 13 wickets in 10 matches, which included a hat-trick against the Quetta Gladiators.
The Multan Sultans finished fifth on the table, just above the Lahore Qalandars.
Previously, Multan Sultans contract was held by the Schon Group. However, due to the franchise owners inability to pay the annual fee of $5.2 million, the PCB terminated the contract, renaming the team as “The Sixth Team”.
The side was still under the PCB when the PSL draft was held in November 2018, with Shoaib Malik, Johan Botha (via Skype), Nadeem Khan, Haider Azhar and Faisal Mirza representing “The Sixth Team” at the draft.
The franchise rights of “The Sixth Team” were eventually won by the Multan Consortium led by Ali Tareen. After conducting a poll on Twitter and taking opinion from the fans on streets of South Punjab, Ali finally decided to retain the much loved “Multan Sultans” name.
According to the new rules, a side could retain maximum of 10 players. Multan Sultans decided to retain 8 players from their last season.
Multan sultans RETAINED PLAYERS
Platinum: Shoaib Malik
Diamond: Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan
Gold: Shan Masood
Silver: Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Umar Siddiq
Emerging: Mohammad Junaid
The Multan Sultans had the second pick in the draft. After AB De Villier was picked by the Lahore Qalandars, it was more of an obvious pick of Steven Smith by the Multan Sultans. The other Platinum Category pick was the evergreen Pakistani superstar, Shahid Afridi. “BOOM BOOM” has previously represented Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings in the PSL.
In the Diamond Category, the Multan Sultans opted to pick Joe Denly from England, who had represented the Karachi Kings last season.
In the Gold Category, the Afghan leg spin sensation Qais Ahmad and the highly talented wicket keeper batsman from the Carribean, Nicholas Pooran were picked by the Sultans.
In the Silver Category, another Englishman, Laurie Evans was picked. Evans has performed in various t20 leagues, and especially in the Afghan Premier League that concluded right before the PSL draft, where many big names had failed to perform but Evans turned out to be one of the tournament’s hit.
Slow left-arm orthodox spinner Nauman Ali joined in as the other Silver Category pick.
In the Emerging Category, fast bowler Mohammad Illyas was picked who has an impressive First Class record.
In the Supplementary Category, Aussie allrounder Dan Christian, English wicketkeeper Tom Moores, senior wicketkeeper batsman Shakeel Ansar and right-arm medium bowler Ali Shafiq were picked by the Sultans.
The curse that had haunted Lahore Qalandars for the past 3 seasons haunted the Multan Sultans this year. Steve Smith got injured in the Bangladesh Premier League, ruling him out of the PSL. Nicholas Pooran, Joe Denly and Qais Ahmad got call from their national sides, hence they also had to leave.
The Sultans replied strong to Smith’s departure with the powerful pick of Andre Russell. James Vince replaced his countryman Joe Denly, Chris Green replaced Qais Ahmad while Johnson Charles replaced his West Indian teammate Nicholas Pooran. Hammad Azam from Rawalpindi was their 21st player pick.
SQUAD FOR 2019
Batsmen: Shan Masood, James Vince (England), Laurie Evans (England)
All-Rounders: Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Andre Russell (West Indies), Dan Christian (Australia), Chris Green (Australia), Hammad Azam, Nauman Ali
Wicket keepers: Umar Siddiq, Tom Moores (England), Johnson Charles (England), Shakeel Ansar
Fast bowlers: Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Illyas, Mohammad Junaid, Ali Shafiq
Spinners: Mohammad Irfan Khan
BEST POSSIBLE XI
Johnson Charles (WK)
Shoaib Malik (C)
Mohammad Illyas (E)
Written by Raza Abbas
You can find out more about Raza on his Twitter profile here!