Representing the biggest city in the country, Karachi Kings had a lean run in the first edition of the PSL. Finishing at the fourth spot after the round robin stage, Kings limped out of the tournament following a one-sided drubbing in the first eliminator against eventual winners Islamabad United.
Kings have made some big picks in the 2017 PSL draft sealing the inclusion of West Indian T20 legend Chris Gayle, imported from the Qalandars and Gladiators’ Sri Lankan icon Kumar Sangakkara.
Sangakkara takes over the captaincy from Shoaib Malik who led the team up to the play-offs in 2016 before handing over the reins to England’s Ravi Bopara.
Bopara had an outstanding tournament as an all-rounder and was one of the few shining lights of an otherwise below par performance, his stellar show in the opening season is surely going to hold him in good stead for #HBLPSL2017.
Sangakkara with his vast experience and pedigree as a world class player brings another dimension to Kings’ outfit. The former Sri Lankan captain has the leadership skills that can galvanize the team and give them a much needed boost for the upcoming season.
Gayle will be the leading attraction for the Kings’ fan base despite a spate of injuries that kept him away from consistent action in recent months. At the top of the innings his stroke play would hog the headlines and the southpaw would be a sure shot star attraction.
Gayle’s West Indian teammate Kieron Pollard adds strike power to the middle and lower order, his presence will give further depth to the team especially if Bopara reproduces his 2016 form.
Kings’ will also have high expectations from their import from United, Babar Azam who reeled off three back to back ODI centuries against the West Indies. Azam is the future of Pakistan’s batting and is likely to bat at number three for Kings nestled at the spot between Gayle and Sangakkara.
Kings have a formidable bowling line up led by Mohammad Amir, the left-armer snared a hat-trick in the opening game for his team last season, Kings’ bowling will once again be spearheaded by the skilful bowler who on his day can run through any team.
Amir will be backed up by right-arm pacers Sohail Khan and Ryan McLaren the duo can generate fair pace both with the new and the old ball.
Pakistan all-rounder Imad Wasim has hit a purple patch since the tour of England last year; his stellar show in UAE against the West Indies earned him the man of the series award and the Swansea born will be a vital cog in Sangakkara’s team with his game changing batting and bowling abilities.
Karachi batsmen Khurram Manzoor and Shahzaib Hasan will provide back-up in the top-order besides a local flavour to the franchise. Former captain Rashid Latif combines with Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur in the team management. Kings on the paper at least have a player and management combination that will give their rivals a real testing time in the 2017 season.