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The biggest stars in world cricket are set to take the stage as the sixth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) gets underway tonight at National Stadium Karachi. Ever since its inception 6 years ago, PSL has brought forward some iconic moments which have been etched into the fan’s memories.
PSL 5 was the first season to be held entirely in Pakistan and despite the tournament being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a huge success. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has done extremely well to host yet another tournament in Pakistan and that too with fans in the stadium, although 20% of the spectators will be allowed into the stadiums according to the Covid-19 protocols. People will be storming in to watch their favorite cricketers light up the stadium.
PCB promises that PSL 6 will be bigger and better than ever, and that is with good measure, as the top players from around the world are gathering in Pakistan to entertain millions of fans around the world.
Babar Azam, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz are some of the biggest names in Pakistan cricket that will be taking part in the tournament, but there are a host of international stars that are taking part as well.
Let’s have a look at the 5 biggest foreign stars taking part in PSL 6:
The Universe Boss is still one of the most destructive openers in T20 cricket, he was picked up by Quetta Gladiators as their platinum pick. Chris Gayle has been in the circuit for more than two decades and he is still one of the hottest commodities in T20 cricket. Gayle is the highest run-scorer in T20s history with over 13,000 runs in 411 matches. He has an average of 38.26 and a strike rate of 146.72. He has scored a staggering 22 centuries, the most in T20 cricket, the next best is Michael Klinger with only 8.
Unfortunately, Gayle will be available for only a couple of matches for Quetta Gladiators as he has been called up to the West Indian T20 squad to face Sri Lanka. According to Gayle, he is here to remind everyone that he is still the Universe Boss, so expect fireworks in the two matches he will play.
One of the best fast bowlers of this generation, Dale Steyn will be appearing in the PSL for the second time in his career. Steyn may not be the bowler he used to be a few years ago but he is still a marquee signing for PSL. Steyn was picked up by Quetta Gladiators in the supplementary category and they will be relying on him to pass his knowledge on the young pace attack of Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, and Usman Shinwari.
Steyn has performed at the biggest stage and has over 400 Test wickets. His T20 stats are also very impressive, he has taken 259 wickets in 225 matches at an average of 21.96 and an exceptional economy rate of 6.82. Steyn’s experience will be crucial for Quetta if they want to go deep into the tournament.
Faf Du Plessis
Faf shocked the world last year when he decided to join Peshawar Zalmi in the play-offs. He only took part in one match in PSL 5 as Peshawar crashed out of the tournament in the 1st eliminator. Faf wasn’t picked up by any franchise this time around as South Africa was scheduled to play a Test series with Australia. Quetta pounced on the opportunity as Australia pulled out of the tour and picked Faf as the replacement for Chris Gayle.
Faf will be available for Quetta after the second match, as Gayle is scheduled to leave. Faf is a dependable middle-order batsman that has performed at the biggest stage in various franchise T20 leagues. Faf has scored 5,859 runs in 236 T20 matches at an average of 30.04 and a strike rate of 128.09. Quetta will require Faf to perform like his old self to stabilize an otherwise vulnerable middle-order.
Explosive middle-order batsman, David Miller is the third South African on this list, he will be making his PSL debut this season and we couldn’t be more excited. Miller was picked up in the platinum category by Peshawar Zalmi to provide the middle-order with some aggressiveness. Miller has been around the world, played in various franchise leagues and is known as one of the biggest power-hitters in world cricket today.
Miller has scored over 7,000 runs in 324 T20 matches at an average of 34.64 and an impressive strike-rate of 138.23. He also has 4 T20 centuries to his name, including the fastest century in T20I cricket. Miller will not be available for the first few games as he is playing domestic cricket in South Africa but will join the Zalmi squad on 1 March to play for the rest of the tournament.
The world number one T20I bowler, Rashid Khan, will be appearing in PSL for the first time, he was picked up by Lahore Qalandars in the platinum category. Rashid is certainly one of the best spinners in world cricket today and has performed exceptionally well in franchise T20 leagues all around the world. Rashid will be a threat on spin-friendly wickets in the country and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him top the wicket-taking charts at the end of the tournament.
Rashid has an immense record in T20 cricket, he has taken 343 wickets in 247 T20s at an average of 17.37 and an economy rate of 6.28. He is quite handy with the bat as well and has scored over 1,000 T20 runs in his career so far. Rashid will be a trump card in the Lahore Qalandars line-up and will fit in nicely with the bowling unit of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Dilbar Hussain.
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