Since, the popularity of Pakistan Super League is growing fast among overseas players, in the fourth edition of the tournament, starting from February 14 in Dubai, at least, 40 foreign players are all set to play to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan to entertain the cricket loving crowd.
The PSL 2019 is scheduled features 34 T20 matches to be played between six franchises.
The Pakistan Super League 2019 edition is scheduled to commence on February 14th 2019 and will end on March 17 2019.
The tournament, which is officially labeled as HBL PSL 2019 and formally referred to as PSL 4 , would kick off with the PSL opening ceremony being held in the UAE on February 14th.
With Pakistan Super league drawing close, teams playing PSL 2019 held their second practice session with an aim to prepare themselves for different match scenarios.
Players were given match scenarios and important suggestions by their coaches during the practice session in the desert of United Arab Emirates (UAE).
While the tournament is about to start, there are a few players who will be aiming for a national comeback. These cricketers, were away from international cricket but now will be looking forward to making a comeback with their performances ahead of the World Cup 2019.
The Pakistan Super League 2019 might be a gateway for them to make a comeback into the national team.
Here are the players:
1. Ahmed Shahzad
Ahmed Shehzad, who made his international debut at just 17 years of age, is the only Pakistani to score a hundred in T20I. He was banned for four months after he failed doping test and was tested positive for using banned substance during domestic match.
He was dropped by his domestic team, Habib Bank Limited, ahead of the 2018–19 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. In August 2018, he was not awarded a central contract for the 2018–19 season by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
Now Ahmed Shahzad will be looking to put behind all these things and get some runs under his belt to prove himself.
Earlier, Quetta Gladiator skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said that, “He is a good T20 player and i hope he will try to perform his best.”
2. Umar Akmal
Umar Akmal who made his T20I debut on 12 August 2009 against Sri Lanka is one of the finest hard hitting Pakistan at the moment Pakistan have. He is a right-handed batsman and a part-time wicket-keeper. Like his two brothers, Adnan and Kamran, Umar has kept wicket for the national team in many matches.
Umar was bought by Lahore Qalandars for US$140,000 in 2016 season. He performed well and ended up as the highest runs-scorer in PSL 2016 scoring 335 runs in seven innings with four half-centuries. His team didn’t qualify for play-offs and finished last in the group stage.He was retained by Lahore Qalandars for 2nd season. He finished the season with 164 runs from 8 matches with only one fifty.
He was again retained by Qalandars for 3rd season. He was eventually dropped by Lahore Qalandars for later part of the tournament for his below par performance and disciplinary issues.
This year he’s part of Quetta Gladiators and could proved to be a back bone of Quetta in the absence of Kevin Pietersen who has now called time on his playing career.
According to Quetta Gladiator skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, “Quuetta have a great combination in Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal.”
“They are good T20 players,” he asserted, and when asked if he has ever had difficulty managing Umar Akmal, Sarfaraz replied in the negative.
“I have no issues with anyone. We will all try to perform our best, and get the best out of all the players.”
3. Wahab Riaz
Wahab Riaz who made his T20I debut on 20 April 2008 against Bangladesh, will be targeting World Cup squad with PSL performance.
The highest wicket-taker in the history of PSL (48 wickets in 32 matches) will enter the tournament with an aim to make a come back in National Team.
It has been nearly two years since he played white-ball cricket for Pakistan. He has been out-of-contention in ODIs since his knee injury in Pakistan’s group-stage match against India in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 – in which he conceded none for 87 in 8.1 overs.
Earlier, The fast bowler said he still has the hunger and passion to play for the national team and is hoping his performance in the tournament will give him an edge and hopefully and place in the squad.
“PSL is a good opportunity before the World Cup. I have been bowling well in the leagues and I hope through my performance in the tournament I can become a part of the national squad,’ Riaz said while speaking to a private TV channel.
The 33-year-old Zalmi bowler added, “Sure we play a lot of leagues and tournaments but there is nothing that comes close to playing for your country.”
4. Rumman Raees
The 27-year-old Islamabad United fast bowler Rumman Raees has been the victim of several injuries in the last few years. He ruled out of the Asia Cup and World T20 in 2016 due to a hamstring injury.
Raees was injured during the previous edition of PSL while fielding in the match against Quetta Gladiators at Sharjah. He has since been out of action.
Islamabad United fast bowler Rumman Raees has regained his fitness and looks forward to giving his best in the upcoming season of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Raees said he has regained full fitness and has set his goal for the 4th edition of PSL. “I had suffered a knee injury which was followed by a back surgery which kept me out of action,” he said about his struggle in a video message.
“I have worked a lot on my fitness. I am fully fit now and will be in action during the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League,” he added.
“Thanks for all the support and remembering me despite me being out of action for around a year,” Raees said. “I have set my aim for PSL, want to look different in the league. I will do my best to make my team victorious.”
5. Junaid Khan
Junaid Khan who made his T20I debut on 21 April 2011 against West Indies, will also be targeting World Cup squad with PSL performance.
The left-arm pacer was dropped for the South Africa ODIs because the selection committee felt he had not fully recovered from a toe injury. Later, Junaid responded by picking up eight wickets at an average of 10 in his first three BPL matches.
It has been ages since he represented Pakistan in the Tests and T20Is. But, he was a part of the ODI side in the recent series against New Zealand in November last year.
Junaid Khan who is a part of Multan Sultans in the PSL will be keen to perform to make a come-back in the national side.