Here Are the Potential Breakout Stars of PSL 8

The eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is around the corner and it promises to be one for the ages. All six franchises have assembled their squads to compete in the tournament as they prepare to fight for the coveted trophy.

While there are a number of superstars in each of the six franchises, there are a few players that are on the brink of stardom as they look to have a breakout season in the PSL.

Pakistan’s premier T20 tournament, since its inception almost 8 years ago, has provided the platform for young cricketers to showcase their talent on the big stage and eventually make a name for themselves in the international arena. The PSL has not only played a vital part in providing opportunities for Pakistani cricketers, but it has also proved to be crucial in the development of foreign stars.

The likes of Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, and Fakhar Zaman are some of the Pakistani players who have gone on to establish themselves as superstars in the international arena, while international stars including the likes of Will Smeed, Ben Duckett, Tim David, Harry Brook have been absolutely brilliant at the highest level.

Just like many players in the previous seasons, young talented cricketers in PSL 8 will be determined to showcase their talents and have a major breakout season which will help in fast-tracking their international careers.

Let’s have a look at the potential breakout stars of PSL 8: (not restricted to emerging category)

1. Qasim Akram (Karachi Kings)

Young all-rounder, Qasim Akram is one of the most highly revered talents in the country and has made a name for himself in the domestic circuit after magnificent performances over the past year. The former under-19 national team captain is knocking on the selector’s door in the shortest format of the game and will be determined to break into the national side on the back of solid displays in the upcoming edition of PSL.

Qasim was one of the shining lights for the Karachi Kings despite their woeful performances last year. While Karachi struggled throughout the tournament, Qasim took the responsibility on his young shoulders to take the team off their rut. While ultimately, Karachi only won one match out of their 10, Qasim’s performances were still impactful.

The 20-year-old only played five matches in PSL 7, where he scored 99 runs at an average of 33.00 and a strike rate of 154.68, including one half-century. He was only utilized as a bowler for two overs in the tournament, where he conceded 18 runs and picked up a wicket.

A future superstar in the making, Qasim is well and truly one to watch out for in PSL 8.

2. Saim Ayub (Peshawar Zalmi)

The young opening batter is highly regarded as one of the most exciting batting talents in the country. Saim will represent Peshawar Zalmi, having previously represented Quetta Gladiators in the PSL 7. While he failed to impress in his seven outings for Quetta, he did show some flashes of his brilliant talent.

Saim was picked up by Peshawar Zalmi in PSL 8 and he is expected to open the innings along with Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam. The talented player has been in solid form and has established himself as one of the stars of Pakistan’s domestic circuit.

The 20-year-old is on the verge of his breakout season and a strong showing in PSL 8 will fast-track his international career. Overall, Saim has scored 558 runs at an average of 26.57 and a strike rate of 139.50 in his short 21-match T20 career.

Saim will be one of the stars for Peshawar as they look to win their second PSL title.

3. Haseebullah (Peshawar Zalmi)

Pakistan’s next superstar wicket-keeper batter, Haseebullah has quietly established himself as one of the most exciting and consistent performers in the domestic circuit. He rose to prominence after marvelous displays on the Under-19 stage and has since gone on to perform at the top level.

Haseebullah was picked by Peshawar Zalmi and will be determined to perform and displace Mohammad Haris behind the stumps. Haseebullah’s glove work is also as consistent as his batting and he has the potential to become Pakistan national team’s future wicket-keeper.

The 19-year-old is certainly one to watch out for in PSL 8.

4. Zeeshan Zameer (Islamabad United)

Young express pacer, Zeeshan Zameer stunned the world as he bowled one of the deliveries of PSL 7 to get rid of Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam. Unfortunately, that delivery was his last action of PSL 7 as he got injured while bowling the world-class delivery.

Zeeshan is once again picked by Islamabad United and he will be determined to make his mark yet again in the upcoming PSL 8. Zeeshan’s tall frame helps him generate bounce and his line and length are impeccable at such a young age.

The 20-year-old initially rose to fame for his excellent performances in the Under-19 World Cup and he will be looking to replicate his form in the upcoming event. Zeeshan has all the skills and tools to make it to the highest level and solid displays in PSL 8 will help fast-track his career.

Zeeshan is the one to look out for in terms of young bowlers looking to break through and establish themselves as a regular feature in the national side.

5. Arafat Minhas (Multan Sultans)

The 18-year-old was one of the most promising youngsters that came to prominence in the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). His all-round performances in the PJL caught the attention of the cricketing fraternity as he contributed exceptionally with bat and ball.

The young all-rounder scored 178 runs at an average of 35.60 and a strike rate of 130.88 while he picked up nine wickets at an average of 17.66 and an economy rate of 6.91 in seven matches he played in the tournament.

Arafat was picked up by Multan Sultans in the upcoming PSL 2023 and the youngster will be determined to establish himself as a starter in the line-up. Arafat will be one to watch out for as he displays his all-round skills at the highest level of T20 cricket.

6. Tayyab Tahir (Karachi Kings)

Tayyab Tahir has been one of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit over the past few years. His sensational displays earned him a spot in the national ODI side, but he is yet to make his debut.

Tayyab will be determined to move his stock up further in PSL 8 which will help him in becoming a regular at the international level. The explosive batter has scored 657 runs at an average of 46.92 and a strike rate of 139.49 in the 16 innings he has played in his official T20 career.

The 29-year-old was picked up by Karachi Kings in PSL 8 and will be crucial for them in their middle order. Tayyab himself will be looking to shoulder the responsibility and score heavily in the upcoming PSL.

PSL 8 is set to be Tayyab’s breakout season.

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