PSL was thought to be an entertaining cricket carnival but it ended up being more than just a carnival. It became a stage for the youngsters to use and show the best of their talent in front of the nation. PSL 2016 paved way for Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif in the national team once again, while Mohammad Nawaz and Hassan Ali were introduced to the fans with their impressive performances.
But the second edition of PSL displayed more talent than the first edition did. It was thought that talent no more existed in Pakistan until the young blood came up to the stage. It was pretty much obvious from the very first game that who will make it to the team first. Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman & Usman Shinwari made their way into the national squad. These youngsters colored the national team once again, showing a glimmer of good times ahead.
While many new names made it to the national team, few didn’t. But the second edition of PSL displayed the depth of talent in Pakistan with the likes of Usama Mir, Hassan Khan, Hussain Talat and a couple of more.
With just a month left until the third edition of PSL kicks off, it already seems to display flamboyant young players once again. Here are few players you should look after as “Pakistan’s next big stars” in the upcoming PSL 2018.
1. Hasan Mohsin.
The right-handed batsman and right-arm medium bowler first made his mark when he lead Pakistan under-19 in the under-19 World Cup 2016 in Bangladesh. He was Pakistan’s leading run scorer in that World Cup and fourth highest run scorer overall. He scored 293 runs in 6 matches with a strike-rate of 96.06. He is also helpful with the ball with his medium bowling. The 20 years old played for Pakistan Televisions in season 2017-18. He helped his team reach the Departmental One-Day Cup final and ended up as runners-up. Hasan Mohsin will play for Karachi Kings in third edition of PSL.
2. Shaheen Shah Afridi.
The 17 years old and 6 foot tall Shaheen is tagged as Pakistan’s next leading fast bowler in upcoming days. He has ability to bowl around 145 to 150 Kph. He often uses line & length to trap the batsmen. He made his first-class debut with Khan Research laboratories and took 8 wickets on his debut. He later got selected for Pakistan under-19 for Asia cup and under-19 World Cup. He recorded his best bowling figures of 6 for 15 runs against Ireland in a group match. Shaheen will play for Lahore Qalandar in the third edition of PSL.
3. Saif Badar.
The right-handed top-order batsman was part of Pakistan’s under-19 World Cup 2016’s squad. He has played a couple of impressive knocks with the under-19 and is set to shine with Multan Sultan in the third edition of PSL.
4. Sameen Gul.
The 18 years-old right-arm medium fast bowler has been one of the best young bowler in Pakistan’s domestic circuit for a while now. He has an excellent First-Class cricket record with the ball, claiming 62 wickets in his 13 matches he has played so far. He averages 15.51 with the ball. Sameen Gul can also swing the ball very well. He plays for UBL in Quaid-e-Azam trophy. He will be a part of Peshawar Zalmi in the third edition of PSL.
5. Saad Ali.
Right when everyone was complaining about tough pitches in Quaid-e-Azam trophy last season, Saad Ali decided to do the opposite and went on scoring runs, not simple, but big ones. He scored 957 runs in 15 innings, averaging 68.35 and maintained a strike-rate of 72.55 throughout the season. The left-handed batsman also made his T20 debut with Islamabad in 2017 as a replacement of Shoaib Malik. He scored 118 runs in 5 innings including a fifty. Saad is very ambitious to make his way into the national squad very soon. He will represent Quetta Gladiators in the third edition of PSL.
6. Shibzada Farhan.
The 21 years-old right-handed opener has his own aggressive way of playing cricket. He made his List A debut in National Cup 2017 with Peshawar. In Pakistan Cup 2017, he scored 331 in 5 innings for Balochistan. He scored 4 fifties and 1 hundred in the tournament. He averages 41.88 in 9 List A matches he has played so far and has managed to score at a strike-rate of 99.47. His T20 record is also healthy, scoring 273 runs in 9 innings with a strike-rate of 111.38. He will be a part of Islamabad United in the third edition of PSL.
7. Rohail Nazir.
The 16 years-old Rohail Nazir is a wicket keeping batsman. He made his T20 debut for Federal Areas in 2017. His impressive performances in under-19 cricket earned him a place in under-19 squad for the under-19 World Cup 2018. He scored 81 against Afghanistan in the group match. He will be a part of Islamabad United in the third edition of PSL.
8. Saud Shakeel.
The 22 years-old Saud Shakeel is one of the gems in Pakistan’s domestic circuit. Saud is highly talented and is considered as one of the best young batsman in Pakistan currently. He has also represented Pakistan under-19. In the previous Quaid-e-Azam trophy season, Saud scored 488 runs in 13 innings. He also has a decent List A record, scoring 1141 runs in 30 innings, averaging 42.25 at a strike-rate of 82.02.
9. Raza Hasan.
After having a positive dope test and being suspended for almost 2 years, the 25 years-old left-arm slow orthodox bowler made a comeback into the domestic circuit after almost 2 years with National Bank. Raza was picked by Lahore Qalandars in the draft and Aqib Javed is ambitious enough to revive his career once again with the national squad. In 64 T20 matches, he has bagged himself 80 wickets at an average of 18.81.