PSL 8 Preview: Karachi Kings’ Strengths, Weaknesses and X-Factor

Karachi Kings created an unwanted record in last year’s PSL as they managed to win only one of their ten group stage games. The team finished at the bottom of the table after a disappointing outing and will be determined to quickly bounce back in PSL 8.

Prior to their horror show in the previous edition, Karachi had a consistent record in the tournament and was one of the sides that had qualified for the playoffs in each of the six seasons of the competition.

Kings have since made wholesale changes to their squad which included trading their captain, Babar Azam, for Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik, with Peshawar Zalmi. They have also brought in Imran Tahir and Matthew Wade to further strengthen their squad. They will be determined to make it to the PSL 8 playoffs and have the squad to do so.

Karachi Kings PSL 8 Squad

Karachi Kings will be led by Pakistan’s all-rounder Imad Wasim. They have a strong core of Pakistani players including Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Sharjeel Khan, and Haider Ali. They have picked up the likes of Imran Tahir, Matthew Wade, and Andrew Tye, which adds extra quality to their well-balanced squad.

Here is their 18-man squad:

Imad Wasim (c) Matthew Wade Imran Tahir Haider Ali James Vince James Fuller
Andrew Tye Shoaib Malik Mohammad Amir Tayyab Tahir Mohammad Akhlaq Sharjeel Khan
Mir Hamza Aamer Yamin Irfan Khan Niazi Qasim Akram Tabraiz Shamsi Mohammad Umar

Previous PSL Finishes

Karachi’s performances are filled with ups and downs throughout their PSL history. After failing at the last hurdle in the first four editions, they lifted the PSL trophy in the fifth season. Last year, they were disappointing, to say the least as they failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their history, winning only one match in the entire competition.

Here is how they have performed throughout PSL:

PSL Edition Year Position finished
1 2016 4th
2 2017 3rd
3 2018 3rd
4 2019 4th
5 2020 Champions
6 2021 4th
7 2022 6th (Last)


Strong Bowling Attack


Kings’ strength this time around, lies in their exceptional bowling unit. Their spin bowling attack is one of the best in the tournament, with the likes of Imran Tahir, Imad Wasim, and Tabraiz Shamsi at their disposal. Karachi has a decent pace attack as well after picking up Andrew Tye. Tye, Amir, Mir Hamza, Aamer Yamin, James Fuller, and Mohammad Amir form a solid pace unit.

The form of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is also a positive sign for the franchise.

Here’s the overall T20 record of Karachi’s bowling unit:

Player Innings Wickets Average Economy Rate
Imran Tahir 358 466 19.90 6.96
Imad Wasim 271 246 25.34 6.52
Mohammad Amir 231 271 22.35 7.11
Andrew Tye 205 297 20.38 8.08
Mir Hamza 51 51 30.80 8.22
Tabraiz Shamsi 203 239 22.03 7.25
Aamer Yamin 105 91 30.25 8.30
James Fuller 116 139 24.19 8.66

Top Emerging Picks

Karachi possess two of the most talented youngsters in the country in their ranks. Former Pakistan Under-19 captain, Qasim Akram, and young batter, Irfan Khan Niazi, both are exciting prospects in Pakistan cricket and are hailed as future superstars. Both players will prove to be useful for Karachi throughout the PSL 8 campaign.

Qasim Akram is regarded as one of the finest all-rounders in the country already and his recent form in the domestic circuit has been sensational. Akram has all the tools to become the next big superstar and Karachi will be pleased to keep their hold on the exciting all-rounder.

Similarly, Irfan Niazi is highly regarded in the cricketing fraternity for his batting ability. The youngster has the technical ability and can also send the ball long. It will be exciting to see the players in action in the upcoming PSL edition.


Hit and Miss Batting Unit

Karachi’s potential weakness in PSL 8 is their batting unit. While there is no doubt about the batting ability of the players, there is some skepticism regarding their consistency. This could eventually lead to their downfall as the players have not performed at a consistent level in a tournament.

The likes of Sharjeel Khan, Haider Ali, James Vince, and Matthew Wade, do possess the firepower to hit it big but lack the ability to absorb pressure and perform in a string of matches. The responsibility of the entire batting unit will rely on the shoulders of veteran batter, Shoaib Malik, who will be the glue to this batting unit.

Domestic performer, Tayyab Tahir, is a welcome inclusion to the side, but the hard-hitter will need to prove his worth at the top level. Despite this, he has all the ingredients to form a solid middle-order along with Malik.

Expect a whole lot of collapses from this batting line-up.

Player Innings Runs Average Strike Rate
Haider Ali 89 1,822 23.06 135.16
James Vince 310 8,602 30.83 134.15
Matthew Wade 189 4,243 27.02 136.43
Tayyab Tahir 16 657 46.92 139.49
Sharjeel Khan 143 3,594 26.04 138.71



Karachi’s young all-rounder, Qasim Akram, is the star to look out in PSL 8. The superstar is tipped as a future international and has all the tools required to succeed at the top level. Qasim’s ability with both the bat and the ball and his exceptional fielding skills make him a real asset to any team in the world.

The youngster has put in some sensational performances in the domestic circuit and was one of the few positives from Karachi’s atrocious display last season. Qasim will be hoping to put in solid displays and knock on the Pakistan team’s door in the near future.

Karachi will be hoping that the young star could provide them with an extra spark on the field and utilize his all-round skills to win them matches. He provides the Karachi side with the perfect balance which will enable them to shape up their starting eleven.

Qasim has scored 451 runs at a strike rate of 141.82 and has picked up 17 wickets at an average of 27.05 in his short T20 career of 37 matches so far. Qasim himself will be determined to put in strong performances and help his side go deep in the tournament.

Matches Runs Strike Rate Wickets Bowling Average
37 451 141.82 17 27.05

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