How do you think the franchises will fare in 2017? Which players are looking forward to seeing play? Do you believe the PSL final will be played in Lahore?
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR?
It was a great year for Islamabad United, who claimed the inaugural PSL title and unearthed a number of talents that have gone on to play for the Pakistan national side.
Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam and Khalid Latif were the real success stories, while Mohammad Sami’s resurgence was also a high point.
Their title win was far from routine, finishing third in the league stage after losing four of their eight group matches and having to negotiate two qualifying matches to reach the final.
Once there, they despatched the much fancied Quetta Gladiators in the showpiece to ensure Misbah-ul-Haq lifted the trophy.
WHAT IS NEW THIS YEAR?
To be honest, not a lot.
Islamabad went into the draft for this year’s tournament with the mindset of ‘what got us here last year, will get us there again’.
The big overseas change is Steven Finn coming in for Andre Russell, the West Indian’s drug ban seeing Islamabad as the first franchise to suffer with his absence.
England’s Ben Duckett is the other new foreign face while Azam has moved to Karachi in one of the draft’s biggest switches among the Pakistan nationals.
Elsewhere, all-rounders Shadab Khan and Zohaib Khan are new to the team.
HOW WILL THEY DO?
Time will tell whether less is more for Islamabad but they still boast a considerably talented team which has great balance.
Expect them to reach the final once more and eventually retain the title.
Batsmen: Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Hussain Talat, Asif Ali
All-rounders: Shadab Khan, Zohaib Khan
Bowlers: Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees, Amad Butt, Imran Khalid
Overseas: Shane Watson (Australia), Dwayne Smith (West Indies), Sam Billings (wk – England), Ben Duckett (wk – England), Samuel Badree (West Indies), Steven Finn (England)
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