Pakistan Super League (PSL) has provided the perfect platform for youngsters to showcase their cricketing talents to the world and make a name for themselves at the highest level. Over the years, PSL has brought forward a lot of names for the national side such as the likes of Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Haider Ali, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Shah Afridi. These players have all made their debuts for the national side after performing in the PSL.
There was plenty of talent on display in this edition of PSL as well, with every side possessing a few exciting youngsters in their ranks. A few players have already been called up to the national side after their impressive performances this year and several others have made their case by putting in brilliant performances.
Let’s have a look at the top five youngsters in PSL 2021:
5. Abrar Ahmed (Peshawar Zalmi)
The exciting young leg-spinner, Abrar Ahmed, started off an amazing debut with three wickets against Multan Sultans in the group stage match. His accurate line and length along with sharp spin bamboozled the opposition batting line-up as Peshawar roared to an astonishing victory.
Abrar only played a couple of games in the tournament, mainly due to Peshawar’s insistence on playing pace over spin. Despite that, Abrar showcased his talent in the few overs he bowled in the tournament.
The 22-year old played two matches in the tournament, picking up three wickets at an average of 20.66 and an economy rate of 8.85.
4. Khurram Shahzad (Quetta Gladiators)
Quetta’s bowling line-up struggled throughout the tournament and that reflected in their performance as they could only manage two wins in their ten group stage matches, finishing bottom of the table as a result.
However, right-arm pace bowler, Khurram Shahzad, showed them exactly what they were missing. Shahzad made his tournament debut in the Abu Dhabi leg of the tournament, however, his first match was one to forget as he went wicketless and conceded heavily. But Shahzad showed his strong character as he came back brilliantly and finished as Quetta’s second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament.
The 27-year old picked up 7 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 16.57 and an exceptional economy rate of 7.25.
3. Muhammad Imran (Peshawar Zalmi)
Muhammad Imran was one of the most impressive youngsters in PSL 6. Zalmi trusted him with the ball at various stages of the game. He opened the bowling, bowled death overs, and more often than not, he rose to the occasion.
The left-arm fast bowler played 11 matches in the tournament, picking up 9 wickets at an average of 37.77 and an economy rate of 8.19.
The 19-year-old was one of the picks of the Zalmi bowlers in the Karachi leg of the tournament but his performances dipped during the Abu Dhabi leg. Nevertheless, the future for the young pacer is bright and he will be hoping to play many more seasons of the league.
2. Mohammad Wasim Jnr. (Islamabad United)
Right-arm fast bowler, Mohammad Wasim Jnr., was Islamabad United’s second-highest wicket-taker, picking up 12 wickets at an average of 28.00 and an economy rate of 8.40 in 11 matches in the tournament.
The 19-year-old was impressive with the bat as well, scoring quick runs in the lower order. He scored 45 runs at an average of 22.50 and a strike rate of 150.00 in 6 innings.
Wasim showcased his bowling and batting talent in the tournament and made his way into the national side’s T20I squad for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe. He has also been selected for Pakistan’s upcoming tour of England and the West Indies. Although Wasim is likely to miss out on the T20 World Cup squad, he surely has made his case for the national T20 side.
1. Shahnawaz Dahani (Multan Sultans)
Shahnawaz Dahani was the best emerging youngster in this year’s PSL. He took the competition by storm and finished as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament with 20 scalps to his name in only 11 matches.
The 22-year old fast bowler from Larkana was surprisingly left out by Multan Sultans in their first match of the tournament, however, they were forced to include him in the side after a poor bowling performance resulted in a defeat. Dahani grabbed the opportunity by both hands and became an instant star, mainly due to his exciting celebrations with the West Indian all-rounder, Carlos Brathwaite.
The right-arm fast bowler powered Multan Sultans to their first-ever PSL title, picking up 20 wickets at an average of 17.00 and an economy rate of 8.42 in 11 matches.
Honorary Mention – Imran Khan Snr. (Multan Sultans)
Technically, Imran Khan Snr. is not an emerging player as the 33-year old right-arm fast bowler has been in the domestic circuit for a number of years and has played several Test matches for Pakistan.
Imran Khan Snr. was an inspired selection by Multan Sultans as the cricketing fraternity viewed him as only a squad player, but Khan proved his critics wrong and showed that he has the ability to perform in the shortest format of the game.
Once regarded as only a Test match bowler, Khan has been brilliant in the domestic season in all three formats. He was part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa squad that won all three competitions in Pakistan’s domestic season and then capped off the brilliant year with a title win with Multan Sultans, thus proving his credentials as an all-format bowler.
Khan picked up 12 wickets at an average of 14.91 and an economy rate of only 7.16 in 7 matches he played in the tournament.
Which youngster impressed you the most in PSL 2021? Let us know in the comments section.