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PSL 2021

Mohammad Amir | AFP
Mohammad Amir | AFP

Pakistan Pacer Mohammad Amir Set To Come Out Of Int’l Retirement

Mohammad Amir, the left-arm fast bowler has decided to come out of international retirement in what comes as a pleasing development for Pakistan cricket. The 29-year-old pacer stunned the cricket world by announcing his international retirement last year.

The pacer clarified that he made the big decision because of his issues with the team management. After Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis stepped down from their posts on Monday, Mohammad Amir decided to make himself available for his country once again.

Pakistan coaching unit - comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)
Pakistan coaching unit – comprising Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (AFP)

Mohammad Amir Available For Pakistan After

On 26 July 2019, Mohammad Amir announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to focus on limited-overs cricket. On 17 December 2020, he announced his retirement from international cricket. The pacer played 36 Tests, 61 ODIs, and 50 T20Is before announcing retirement. He represented Pakistan in 36 Tests and took 119 wickets at an average of 30.47. He also featured in 61 ODIs and claimed 81 wickets at an average of 29.62.

As reported by Daily Pakistan, Amir told private media: “I am available for the team”.

Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir
Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir (Photo| AP)

He is available to play for the Pakistan cricket team but the left-arm fast bowler will not represent his nation in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their 15-man squad yesterday, and Mohammad Amir, expectedly, was not a part of the team.

Pakistan had recently announced a 15 member squad for the T20 World cup and there was no place for Mohammad Amir who has shown interest in coming back to international cricket.

Pak squad for NZ, ENG & T20 WC: Babar Azam (c), Mohd Rizwan, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohd Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Azam Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohd Nawaz, Mohd Wasim, Shahdab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohd Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi.
Traveling reserves: Fakhar Zaman, Usman Qadir, Shahnawaz Dhani

Mohammad Amir Has Not Played International Cricket Since August 2020

Mohammad Amir has represented the Pakistan cricket team in 50 T20I matches, scalping 59 wickets at an economy rate of 7.02. His last appearance for the Pakistan cricket team came during the side’s England tour last year. Amir was a part of the playing XI that played in the second T20I of the series in Manchester on August 30, 2020.

A few months after the tour, the pacer bid farewell to the international arena. During his time away from international cricket, the left-arm fast bowler played in various T20 leagues around the world.

Mohammad Amir
Mohammad Amir Photograph: K.M. Chaudary/AP
He represented the Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League (PSL), London Spirit in the Men’s Hundred, Pune Devils in Abu Dhabi T10 League, and currently, he is playing for the Barbados Royals in Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Mohammad Amir has performed well in CPL 2021. It will be interesting to see if and when he plays for the Pakistan national team after coming out of international retirement.

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League

Shahid Afridi May Retire After PSL 2022

Shahid Afridi looks set to finally call time on his playing career, strongly suggesting next year’s season at the Pakistan Super League will be his last.
Shahid Afridi, who is currently with Multan Sultans and spent two seasons at Peshawar Zalmi and one at Karachi Kings, expressed a desire to represent a fourth franchise, Quetta Gladiators, in his final season.
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images
Shahid Afridi suggested he may finally call it a day AFP/Getty Images

Shahid Afridi Last Played For Pakistan More Than 5 Years Ago But Has Continued To Play In The PSL Since Its Inception

Shahid Afridi last played international cricket for Pakistan more than five years ago in 2016 but has continued to take part in the PSL ever since its inception well into his forties.  In his international career, he scored 11,196 runs with 11 centuries and 51 half-centuries. He also picked up 541 wickets at the highest level with 10 five-wicket hauls.
“Maybe this ends up being my last PSL,” Shahid Afridi told reporters. “I would like to play for Quetta Gladiators this season, provided Multan allows me to leave. If Nadeem Omar and Quetta’s owners want to have me, I would love to represent them.”
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs, and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

He captained Peshawar Zalmi in the first season and was part of the team that won the title the following year. His current franchise, Multan Sultans, are the defending champions, having beaten Peshawar Zalmi in the final in June. Shahid Afridi played a part in the first half of this year’s edition before missing the UAE leg with a back injury.

Shahid Afridi, however, who played four times for Multan Sultans during the Karachi leg of the tournament, wasn’t available for the UAE leg after suffering the injury during training. Shahid Afridi retired from international cricket back in 2016 but continued to play league cricket mostly in Pakistan.

He has won the PSL with Peshawar Zalmi in his second season at the franchise, and also played a minor role for the Multan Sultans when they won the trophy last year.

Shahid Afridi Has Been One Of The Most Successful All-rounders In PSL

In case Shahid Afridi retires next season, he would walk away from the Pakistan Super League as one of its most successful all-rounders. To date, Shahid Afridi has 44 wickets in 50 Pakistan Super League games at an economy rate of 6.97. That places him eighth on the all-time list; no one who has taken more wickets and conceded fewer than seven runs per over.

While he has been relatively less successful with the bat, he has still had an impact. His 465 runs have come at a strike rate of 153.46 – only Kieron Pollard (166.24), Luke Ronchi (166.12), and Asif Ali (164.29) top that for those with at least 30 innings. Babar Azam tops the list of highest run-getters with 2070 runs in 58 PSL matches. Kamran Akmal with 1820 runs is 2nd on the list.

Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports
Wahab Riaz. Image-Sky Sports

Amongst bowlers, Wahab Riaz tops the list with 94 wickets while the likes of Hasan Ali -72 scalps, Faheem Ashraf, and Mohammed Nawaz-55 scalps each, Mohammed Amir-54 scalps, Sohail Tanvir-53 scalps, and Shaheen Shah Afridi-50 scalps are amongst bowlers with 50 or more wickets in the PSL.

The 2022 Pakistan Super League will take place in January and February after it was moved to an earlier window to avoid a clash with the Indian Premier League and squeeze in a tour by Australia.

PSL 2022: Pakistan Cricket Board confirms, Pakistan Super League 7 (PSL 7) to be held in January-February window, venue not yet finalised.
PSL 2022: Pakistan Cricket Board confirms, Pakistan Super League 7 (PSL 7) to be held in January-February window, venue not yet finalised.

Pakistan Super League 2022 Will Be Held In The January-February Window

Pakistan Super League will return in action in the January-February window after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the franchises came to an agreement on Saturday. However, the venue for the PSL 2022 has not been finalized. PCB had to suspend the PSL 2021 midway in Karachi and play the rest of the matches in the UAE.

After the successful completion of HBL PSL 6, the Pakistan Cricket Board and HBL Pakistan Super League franchises agreed on Friday that the seventh edition of the HBL PSL will be held in January and February next year.

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021

Pakistan Super League 2022 Was Preponed Due To Australia’s Upcoming Tour Of Pakistan In February-March 2022

The decision to prepone the event has been taken due to Australia’s tour of Pakistan in February and March 2022. Since its inception, the PCB has organized the Pakistan Super League in the February-March slot. However, according to the Future Tours Programme (FTP), Australia is set to tour Pakistan for two Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is during the same period.

“We will have to sit down with the franchises and discuss this [PSL 7]. Australian team is visiting after 22 years. If we miss this window, they won’t return for another three or four years as their Future Tours Programme is already decided,” said PCB CEO Wasim Khan in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, back in June.

The franchises agreed that the PCB should prepare such a schedule of the PSL matches, which should also ensure a maximum number of matches during Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998. — Dawn/File
The franchises agreed that the PCB should prepare such a schedule of the PSL matches, which should also ensure a maximum number of matches during Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998. — Dawn/File

“In January the weather in Karachi is decent and in early February we can shift the tournament to Punjab but we still need to do planning in this regard,” he added.

The event will clash with the 2021-22 edition of the Big Bash League, scheduled from December 5 till January 28, which could mean that many top T20 players will miss the first few matches of the HBL PSL 7. Holding the event after the Australia tour would have resulted in a clash with the extravagant Indian Premier League, which takes place in April and May, and consequently affect player availability.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and all six franchises of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have unanimously decided to hold the next edition of the league in January and February next year, with all fixtures planned on home soil, while also ensuring that maximum matches should be included in the home series against Australia who is due to tour the country in February and March.

A joint meeting of the PCB officials with the franchise owners was held via Zoom on Friday and cleared January and February as the ideal window to stage the PSL-7. According to sources in franchises, the PSL will start from Karachi and end in Punjab. The franchises agreed that the PCB should prepare such a schedule of the PSL matches, which should also ensure a maximum number of matches during Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

Pakistan Super League’s Commercial Rights Also Discussed In The Teleconference

During a teleconference in which the PCB was represented by Chief Executive Wasim Khan, Chief Operating Officer Salman Naseer, GM Commercial Imran Ahmed Khan, and PSL Senior General Manager Operations Usman Wahla – the two parties also discussed a way forward in regards to the new commercial rights cycle and established a framework for rights evaluation and their subsequent sale.

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

The franchises representatives who attended the meeting included Salman Iqbal and Tariq Wasi (both Karachi Kings), Sameen Rana (Lahore Qalandars), Haider Azhar (Multan Sultans), Nadeem Omar (Quetta Gladiators), Nausherwan Effendi (Peshawar Zalmi), and Ali Naqvi (Islamabad United).

Although the venue isn’t finalized, PCB will hope to keep the PSL 2022 in Pakistan after making a loss in the PSL 2021 due to a late change in venue. Earlier, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani declared that the PSL 7 will be held in Pakistan with a crowd presence.

Salman Butt. Image-Twitter
Salman Butt. Image-Twitter

Most Teams Will Be Accustomed To The Conditions In The UAE For IPL 2021 Preceding T20 World Cup, Says Salman Butt

Salman Butt highlighted how most teams will be accustomed to the conditions in the UAE, with the second phase of the IPL 2021 set to take place there in September-October before the marquee T20 World Cup.

With the T20 World Cup being shifted to the UAE from India, many experts of the cricket fraternity suggest that Pakistan will have a good chance of winning the tournament as the Middle East country was their home ground for several years due to the Sri Lanka bus terrorist attack in 2009 and security issues.

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

Salman Butt: India And Top International Players Playing In IPL 2021 At UAE Will Be Accustomed To The Conditions

Salman Butt explained that the Indian players, along with other key international T20 specialists, will have a fair idea of the kind of pitches and conditions to expect in the UAE following their IPL 2021 experience. The former Pakistan batsman said on his YouTube channel that since IPL will take place before the T20 World Cup at the same venues, all players participating in the extravagant league will be confident of a good show.

“IPL will also take place before the World Cup, so Indian players will also play there. All the top international players they will also be part of the IPL.

“So everybody will have a fair idea regarding the kind of pitches, gameplan and average scores. So everybody will be accustomed to the conditions. Even if the World Cup had taken place in India, the conditions there are similar to that in Pakistan.”

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

The T20 World Cup was set to be hosted by India. However, given the health and safety concerns due to the ongoing raging COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI has now officially decided to move the tournament to the UAE and Oman.

Salman Butt Believes Pakistan Can Win For Playing A Lot Of Cricket In The UAE And The Remaining Leg Of PSL 2021

Salman Butt believes Pakistan has a good chance of winning or reaching the finals of the T20 World Cup, given the conditions that will be on offer in the UAE are expected to assist spinners. However, the former tainted batsman also added that teams with good fast bowlers will also be a threat in the competition.

Pakistan played their home games in the UAE for several years as they were barred from hosting matches in their own country amidst security concerns by Test-playing nations after a terrorist attack on Sri Lankan players in 2009.

Butt explained: “Pakistan has played a lot of cricket in the UAE, and the remaining leg of the PSL was also played there. Pakistan is in with a good chance because spin bowlers come into play. But if we get pitches like we did in Abu Dhabi, then whichever team has better fast bowlers they too will come into action. Fast bowlers who can hit good length can create a lot of trouble.”

Hasan Ali came in clutch for Islamabad United Pakistan Super League
Hasan Ali came in clutch for Islamabad United Pakistan Super League

Salman Butt further highlighted how the top wicket-takers in the PSL were fast bowlers. Out of the top six wicket-takers in PSL 2021, five were pacers. Mohammad Nawaz (6 wickets, SR 26.00, Eco 7.50), Hasan Ali (13 wickets, SR 18.38, Eco 6.75), Shaheen Afridi (16 wickets, SR 15.00, Eco. 7.30), and Shahnawaz Dahani (20 wickets, SR 12.10, Eco. 8.42) were the standout performers in the recently concluded PSL 2021.

Between 2009 and 2016, Pakistan’s home matches have been mostly held in the United Arab Emirates. However, due to the increase in security and comparatively fewer terrorist attacks, many teams have toured Pakistan since 2015.

These teams include Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, and an ICC World XI team, with England scheduled to tour in October 2021.

Asif Ali. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Asif Ali. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Asif Ali Said He Deserves Proper Chance To Show His Capability With The Bat

Asif Ali, the Pakistan powerhouse said he deserves a proper chance to show what he is capable of doing with the bat. The batsman also asked the selectors to trust him and let him play on a regular basis.

The Pakistan batsman said since he bats in the middle order and is usually expected to score quick runs, he will likely perform two times out of 10. He added that his average will also be around 25.

Asif Ali last played an ODI in 2019 | AFP
Asif Ali last played an ODI in 2019 | AFP

Asif Ali Wants Selectors To Give Him A Proper Chance

Asif Ali pointed out that many of the world’s top middle-order batsmen, such as Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, England’s Jos Buttler, and the West Indies’ Andre Russell, will have similar statistics as they bat in the middle order.

In Mar 2018, the batsman was named to Pakistan’s T20I squad for their series against the West Indies. He made his T20I debut against the West Indies on 1 April 2018. He made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe on 13 July 2018. In May 2019, he was named in Pakistan’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named their final fifteen-man squad for the tournament.

Asif Ali Visionhaus/Getty Images
Asif Ali Visionhaus/Getty Images

He has played 20 ODIs and 29 T20Is scoring 382 and 344 runs respectively averaging less than 30 in both formats.

“If you trust someone then give him a proper chance,” he told Cricwick as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.

His average is a mere 16.38 in T20Is and 25.46 in ODIs. But his List A average is better-30.55 and his T20 average is also higher-24.98. He has 2 first-class, 4 List A, and 1 T20 ton.

Asif Ali Represented Islamabad United In PSL 2021

Asif Ali recently represented Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and scored 224 runs in 12 matches, which included a top score of 75, at an average of 28, and a strike rate of 167.16. Despite his solid campaign, the 29-year-old was not picked for Pakistan’s upcoming tours of England and the West Indies.

Asif Ali
Asif Ali Courtesy: Twitter (@IsbUnited)

Given he is 29 years old and has a strike rate above 140 in 198 T20s, it is surprising that Asif Ali wasn’t selected on a constant basis to the Pakistan national side, as much of Pakistan’s struggles in T20 and ODI cricket are due to the lack of firepower in the death overs.

Pakistan batsman Asif Ali’s daughter, who suffered from stage four cancer, died in a hospital in the United States just before the 2019 World Cup started. Following the death of his daughter, Asif Ali returned to Pakistan after her death but rejoined the national team camp in England for the 2019 World Cup, following the last rites of his daughter – Dua Fatima, who passed away while battling stage IV cancer.

Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

Kamran Akmal: Pakistan Has An Advantage In T20 World Cup 2021 In UAE

Kamran Akmal feels the Pakistan cricket team will have an advantage in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE instead of India.

While speaking in a YouTube chat, Kamran Akmal explained why Pakistan would enjoy playing the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Kamran Akmal
Kamran Akmal © Getty Images

Kamran Akmal: Pakistan Should Have The Advantage In The T20 World Cup

Wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal feels that Pakistan will have an advantage in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 which is set to be shifted from India to the United Arab Emirates. Kamran Akmal believes that the experience in the UAE will benefit the team in the marquee event since Pakistan has been regularly playing international cricket in the UAE for around a decade.

While speaking with the YouTube channel ‘My Master Cricket Coach’, Kamran Akmal explained why Pakistan would enjoy playing the T20 World Cup in the UAE.

“Pakistan should have the advantage in the T20 World Cup. We’ve played international cricket for 9 to 10 years in the UAE. That makes Pakistan the most experienced side under the conditions,” Akmal said.

Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

Following the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team’s bus, no Test cricket was played in the country until 2019. Between 2009 and 2016, their home matches have been mostly held in the United Arab Emirates.

However, due to the increase in security and comparatively fewer terrorist attacks, many teams have toured Pakistan since 2015. These teams include Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, and an ICC World XI team, with England scheduled to tour in October 2021. In addition, the Pakistan Super League has seen games hosted on Pakistan soil.

Kamran Akmal: It’s Difficult To Pick A Favourite For The T20 World Cup

UAE has been the base for several T20 tournaments in the last few years. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) was recently conducted in Abu Dhabi while the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is going to be held in September, after getting suspended earlier this year.

IPL 2020 was also held in the UAE for Covid-19. Since many foreign players have been participating in these leagues, Kamran Akmal feels they would also get benefitted from the experience of playing in the UAE.

“Not only players from India and Pakistan but from other countries will also benefit going into the T20 World Cup since a lot of them play in both PSL and IPL. Given the conditions in the UAE, Afghanistan can also prove to be a dangerous side, looking at the players that they have. So, it is difficult to pick a favourite for the T20 World Cup,” Akmal said.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The upcoming edition of the World T20, initially scheduled to be held in India, will be shifted to the United Arab Emirates due to the prevalent Covid-19 situation in the country. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly informed that the board has already intimated the International Cricket Council (ICC) about the eventuality.

“We have officially intimated the ICC that the T20 World Cup can be shifted to the United Arab Emirates. The details are being chalked out,” Ganguly was quoted.

The BCCI has communicated to its member associations that this year’s T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE.  They will, however, retain the hosting rights of the 16-team event that is scheduled to begin on October 17, two days after the completion of the IPL 2021 final, also in the UAE.

The T20 World Cup, last held in 2016 in India, was originally scheduled to be held in Australia 2020. With the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting the global cricket calendar though, the ICC postponed the tournament, deciding that India would host it in 2021 with Australia hosting the 2022 edition.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

Fakhar Zaman Would Love To Play Alongside AB de Villiers In PSL 2021 For Lahore Qalandars

Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan and Lahore Qalandars batsman has revealed that he would love to play alongside former Protea batsman AB de Villiers in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

PSL 2021, which was suspended earlier in the year, is all set to resume on June 9. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed the schedule for the remainder of the T20 league in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Fakhar Zaman Is A Big Fan Of AB de Villiers And Wants Him To Play For Lahore Qalandars

In an interview with Cricket Pakistan, Fakhar Zaman discussed Lahore Qalandars’ chances in the remainder of the tournament. Asked if there was one player he would want to play alongside in the PSL, Fakhar Zaman instantly responded that he wants AB de Villiers to play for his team again.

“From the very start, I am a very big fan of AB de Villiers. I follow him a lot. He did represent Lahore Qalandars, but did not play a lot of matches. So if you ask me about one player, I want AB de Villiers to play for Lahore Qalandars.”

AB de Villiers-PSL
AB de Villiers-PSL

South African legend De Villiers played seven matches for Lahore Qalandars in PSL 2019. He scored 218 runs at a strike rate of 128.99 with a best of 52 not out, before being ruled out of the remainder of the edition with a back injury. Despite international retirement, AB de Villiers has been in great form in T20 leagues.

He played seven matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2021 and smashed 207 runs at a strike rate of 164.28 averaging 51.75. AB de Villiers is 6th on the list of maximum run-getters in the history of IPL and has amassed 5056 runs in 176 games averaging 40.77 with 3 tons and 40 fifties.

Several cricket legends including Sunil Gavaskar has praised AB de Villiers’ exquisite batting technique. Sunil Gavaskar heaped huge praises on the 360-degree range of the Royal Challengers Bangalore stalwart.

Fakhar Zaman: Lahore Qalandars Don’t Panic

Lahore Qalandars struggled in the initial few seasons of the PSL. However, they have been highly impressive over the last couple of years. They were runners-up in PSL 2020, and have done well this year too, winning three out of four games. Asked about the reason behind the change in Lahore Qalandars’ fortunes, Fakhar Zaman opined that they don’t panic irrespective of a win or a loss.

“I think what’s good about the current Lahore Qalandars setup is that we do not chop and change too much. Earlier, if we used to lose one game, we used to immediately change the combination. But now, even if we win or lose, we do not panic.”

 Lahore Qalandars’ captain Sohail Akhtar. — PCB/File
Lahore Qalandars’ captain Sohail Akhtar. — PCB/File

Praising skipper Sohail Akhtar, Fakhar Zaman added that he is a lucky captain and the team has often staged a comeback from difficult circumstances.

“Secondly, I feel Sohail Akhtar is a lucky captain. Under his leadership, we have won matches from difficult circumstances. The way he leads, he never makes you feel like he is the captain. He behaves just like a normal friend. So, not panicking and Akhtar coming in as captain, these two things have had a major role to play in our change in fortunes and now we are winning regularly.”

Fakhar Zaman has scored 189 runs in four matches for Lahore Qalandars in PSL 2021 at a strike rate of 143.18 and an average of 63.

Wasim Akram Image Credit: Supplied
Wasim Akram Image Credit: Supplied

Shaheen Afridi Will Try His Best To Make A Name Like His Idol Wasim Akram

Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan, and Lahore Qalandars left-arm fast bowler has named spin all-rounder Shahid Afridi and pace sensation Wasim Akram as the two cricketers from his country he admires a lot, apart from his elder brother Riaz Afridi. Riaz Afridi himself was a fast bowler who played one Test for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in Karachi back in 2004.

Shaheen Afridi has played 17 Tests, 25 ODIs, and as many T20Is picking 58, 51, and 27 wickets in the respective formats averaging less than 30 in each format. In December 2018, the imposing 6ft 6in left-arm pacer became the 35th player to make his Test debut for Pakistan under the age of 19. He debuted in the same year in ODIs and T20Is.

Shaheen Afridi
Shaheen Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shaheen Afridi Will Try His Best To Make A Name Like Wasim Akram

In a YouTube interaction with Cricket Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi was asked to name his favorite Pakistan cricketers.

The 21-year-old responded: “From the very start, I have maintained that my big brother Riaz Afridi is my ideal player. I started playing cricket after watching him and, of course, Shahid Afridi. In bowling, I was very fond of Wasim bhai (Wasim Akram). I will try my best to make a name like him. The way he served Pakistan, I want to do the same and make the country proud.”

Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League
Shahid Afridi brings out his trademark starfish celebration Pakistan Super League

Shaheen Afridi will be seen in action for the Lahore Qalandars when PSL 2021 resumes in Abu Dhabi soon. Asked to review his franchise, the pacer described the team as one with high-quality players.

He stated: “We have world-class players in our Lahore Qalandars squad like Rashid Khan, Mohammed Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman. If we need more players in the future we will look at it. But as of now, the present Lahore Qalandars team is the best.”

Shaheen Afridi Is Focussing On Cricket At This Moment While Replying On Wedding Plans And Date

As cricket fans would be aware, Shahid Afridi confirmed a while ago that fast bowler Shaheen Afridi would be marrying his eldest daughter Aqsa Afridi.

Asked about when the wedding will happen, Shaheen Afridi replied: “Let’s see. Right now my focus is on cricket. There are back-to-back World Cups coming up, so I am concentrating on that as of now as I want to play the World Cups for Pakistan.”

Shaheen Afridi
Shahid Afridi’s daughter will marry Shaheen Afridi. Image-Twitter

There are two back-to-back T20 World Cups scheduled for 2021 and 2022, followed by the 50-over World Cup in 2023. On what kind of cricketing interaction takes place between him and Shahid Afridi, the 21-year-old revealed that they do not discuss much.

He said:“Not much (discussion on cricket). When we do, it is mostly about how my cricket is going. He gives me good wishes and asks me to make Pakistan proud with my performances.”

Shaheen Afridi’s PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars had a good run in the T20 league before the tournament was suspended. They won three and lost only one of their four games. The pacer was the second on the list of leading wicket-taker with nine scalps when the event was halted.

There is no clarity yet over the resumption of PSL 2021 with players’ arrivals from Pakistan being delayed due to clearance issues. The organizers recently confirmed that the final of PSL 2021 will be played on June 24 instead of June 20. Also, the departure date of the Pakistan team for England has been pushed back to June 25 from June 23.

Karachi Kings are the current table-toppers in PSL 2021. They have won three out of five matches and have the best net run rate among all franchises.


Naseem Shah Re-enters PSL 2021 Bio Bubble After PCB’s U-Turn

Naseem Shah, Pakistan pacer is reportedly going to re-enter PSL 2021 bio-bubble despite the Covid-19 protocol breach. Naseem Shah was released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last week after he was found guilty of flouting the norms set by the board.

As per reports, after a meeting between PCB and PSL franchises, a compromise has been reached, thus paving the way for Naseem Shah’s return for the remainder of the T20 tournament which is to be held in UAE.

File Photo of Naseem Shah in action for Quetta Gladiators in PSL.(Twitter)
File Photo of Naseem Shah in action for Quetta Gladiators in PSL. (Twitter)

Naseem Shah’ Negative PCR Test Report Was Conducted On May 18 Contrary To PCB’s Protocols To Assemble At Hotel By May 24 With Negative Report Not Older Than 48 Hours

As per PCB’s covid-19 protocols, all players were asked to assemble at the team hotels by May 24 along with negative PCR test reports not older than 48 hours. Naseem Shah, 18, did arrive with negative reports but the test was conducted on May 18. Following the recommendation of an independent medical advisory, he was released.

In order to rejoin his PSL franchise Quetta Gladiators, Naseem Shah will have to be tested negative thrice for covid-19 – once before entering the team hotel. He will then be allowed to board the flight for Abu Dhabi.

A Covid-19 protocol violation nearly cost Naseem Shah his involvement in PSL 2021 Getty Images
A Covid-19 protocol violation nearly cost Naseem Shah his involvement in PSL 2021 Getty Images

Earlier, Babar Hamid, the commercial director and head of PSL, had said PCB isn’t happy about the turn of events leading to the release of Naseem Shah from the bubble.

“The PCB doesn’t take any pride in releasing a young fast bowler from its marquee event but if we will ignore this breach, then we will potentially put at risk the entire event. We appreciate Quetta Gladiators for accepting this decision as it confirms we are all aligned to strictly following and implementing the protocols,” Hamid had said.

“This decision will also send out a loud and clear message to all involved in the remaining matches that the PCB will not compromise on any violations and will expel the player or player support personnel irrespective of his stature and standing in the game if they are found to be flouting the prescribed protocols or regulations,” he added.

Naseem Shah is supposed to be the key player for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL. He rose to fame with his pace when he made his Test debut against Australia in November 2019 and then grabbed a hat trick in a Test match against Bangladesh at Rawalpindi last year. He has played in nine Test matches and grabbed 20 wickets.

Naseem Shah Has To Clear A Pre Isolation Covid-19 Test And Return Back To Back Negative Tests To Enable To Boars The Flight To Abu Dhabi

After a meeting between the PCB and the PSL franchises, there has indeed been a compromise with Naseem Shah offered a way back to the PSL. All he has to do is clear a pre-isolation Covid-19 test, which will allow him to re-enter the team hotel, and then return back-to-back negative tests, which will give him the green light to board the flight to Abu Dhabi.

Naseem Shah will play a part in PSL 2021
Naseem Shah will play a part in PSL 2021

Naseem Shah’s negative RT-PCR report was from a test conducted on May 18 instead, with the fast bowler placed in isolation on arrival. A three-member panel on the recommendation of the independent Medical Advisory Panel for the PSL later released him from isolation and confirmed his expulsion from the tournament.

Multan Sultans allrounder Shahid Afridi will not play any part in the remainder of the Pakistan Super League after being sidelined with a lower-back injury. The Sultans announced he felt pain in his lower back while training for the resumption of the league, with the doctor advising complete rest.
Shahid Afridi will be replaced by left-arm spinner Asif Afridi, who hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With Shahid Afridi’s absence, the Sultans lose out on one of the competition’s most experienced players.
Afridi has participated in 50 PSL matches throughout his career, with Mohammad Nawaz the only spinner to have taken more wickets than his 44. He has also scored 465 runs at a strike rate in excess of 150 in a career that has also seen him play for Peshawar Zalmi and the Karachi Kings.
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters
Sarfaraz Ahmed , Reuters

Sarfaraz Ahmed Admits He Gets Agitated On The Field Often But Is Normal Away From The Ground

Sarfaraz Ahmed, Quetta Gladiators’ captain has admitted that he does get agitated on the field quite a lot. He, however, asserted that whatever happens on the field stays on it and doesn’t affect his off-field equation with players.

Quetta Gladiators had a rough time in PSL 2021 as they lost four of their five matches before the tournament was suspended due to COVID-related breaches. In a number of games before the postponement, Quetta Gladiators skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was seen losing his temper.

Quetta Gladiators’ Sarfaraz Ahmed Photo Courtesy : PCB
Quetta Gladiators’ Sarfaraz Ahmed Photo Courtesy: PCB

Sarfaraz Khan’s Style Is To Be Expressive On The Ground But Off It, Everything Becomes Normal

In an interview with Cricket Pakistan, though, Sarfaraz Ahmed clarified that there was nothing much to it and he was just disappointed with the team for failing to grab their opportunities.

The former Pakistan captain explained: “It is just my style (to be expressive). During crunch time, and when you are not doing well, it is important to avail all the opportunities that come your way. But all these things (getting angry) happen on the ground, nothing is taken off the field. Everything is normal once we come out of the ground.”

Sarfaraz Ahmed. Photo: File
Sarfaraz Ahmed. Photo: File

Quetta Gladiators began their PSL 2021 campaign with a loss to Karachi Kings by seven wickets. They subsequently also went down to Lahore Qalandars (nine wickets), Peshawar Zalmi (three wickets), and Islamabad United (six wickets). They opened their account with a 22-run triumph over Multan Sultans before PSL 2021 was suspended.

Sarfaraz Ahmed Blames Fielding As Reason Behind Losses In PSL 2021 And Isn’t Disheartened With Limited Opportunities In Pakistan Team

Asked to analyze what went wrong for Quetta Gladiators in the first four games, Sarfaraz Ahmed felt that the team did not do badly, but it was the fielding that cost them in a big way.

He elaborated: “If you look back at the five matches, we did reasonably well, but the major factor that let us down was fielding. We were really poor in that department. We missed catches and run-outs at important times and that was a major setback, which is why we lost so many matches.”

Mohammad Rizwan
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

With the emergence of Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s opportunities in the Pakistan playing XI have dried up. He played only one ODI in South Africa and one T20I in Zimbabwe. The 34-year-old, though, is happy to be part of the team set up and wants to keep learning.

He asserted: “There is nothing to be disheartened about. My aim when I am with the Pakistan team is to improve my skills and fitness as much as possible. Irrespective of whether you are playing or not, when you are part of the team, you get a chance to interact and learn from top coaches. We have Misbah-Ul-Haq, Younis Khan and we also get a chance to work with Mohammad Yousuf sometimes. So we get a lot to learn from these great players. I always try to keep on learning and, even when I play PSL games, I try to implement what I have learnt and do my best on the field.”

Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Quetta Gladiators will resume their PSL 2021 campaign when they face Islamabad United in Abu Dhabi on June 3.

Former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed was among 25 players and staff of the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) sixth edition, whose visas to the United Arab Emirates were delayed. Pacers Mohammad Hasnain, Imran Khan, PCB Media Department Officer Emad Hameed, Asif Afridi, Umar Amin, Muhammad Musa, Zaid Alam, Zeeshan Ashraf, Abrar Ahmed, Imran Randhawa, Mohammad Haris, and Aamir Khan are among the players and staff who have been denied a visa.

Quetta Gladiators Squad:

Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Ben Cutting, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Azam Khan, Naseem Shah, Zahid Mahmood, Anwar Ali, Chris Gayle, Tom Banton, Usman Shinwari, Cameron Delport, Qais Ahmad, Abdul Nasir, Saim Ayub, Arish Ali Khan, Dale Steyn, and Usman Khan