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?
Quetta will have felt hard done by in losing out in last year’s final, having finished second only on net run-rate to Peshawar Zalmi in the group stage.
They then secured a thrilling one-run win in the first qualifying final to secure their place in the final proper but were found wanting as Islamabad ruthlessly romped to victory.
Ahmed Shehzad and Kevin Pietersen were the stars with the bat last year, while spin duo Mohammad Nawaz and Grant Elliot led the way with the ball.
Bismillah Khan was the local hero, the Quetta native’s fifty in the final group game a major fillip for both the franchise and the tournament.
WHAT IS NEW THIS YEAR?
First of all, the team has been streamlined with the squad now consisting of 19 players rather than 23 and Elliott was not called back for a second year despite taking 11 wickets in 2016, the fifth highest in the tournament.
Freshly kolpaked Rilee Roussouw and rapid England seamer Tymal Mills are the new overseas picks, with Kumar Sangakkara, Elton Chigumbura, Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi and Jade Dernbach all binned.
Pietersen returns as overseas, as does fellow Englishman Luke Wright, Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera and New Zealander Nathan McCullum.
Umar Amin joins from Islamabad United, while Mir Hamza has jumped ship from Karachi and Hasan Khan and Noor Wali make their PSL debuts.
HOW WILL THEY DO?
There is plenty of firepower in this team, both with bat and ball, but their big challenge will be to keep their key players fit.
If they can do that then there is no reason why they can’t repeat last year’s efforts in reaching the final and even go one better but, for us, they’ll fall short in the third qualifying final.
Captain: Sarfraz Ahmed (wk)
Batsmen: Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Shafiq, Saad Nasim
All-rounders: Umar Amin, Mohammad Nawaz, Anwar Ali
Bowlers: Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar, Mir Hamza, Hasan Khan, Noor Wali
Overseas: Kevin Pietersen (England), Rilee Roussouw (South Africa), Luke Wright (England), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Nathan McCullum (New Zealand), Tymal Mills (England)
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