A mega spectacle is on the cards with an influx of some foreign and domestic players in the inaugural season of the Pakistan Super League, which is scheduled to start Thursday in Dubai.
The PSL has five teams, which are all going to battle it out for a period of 19 days to lift the title. These teams -- Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars and Quetta Gladiators -- were involved in a mega auction to sign players of their choice last December.
Some of the teams were able to sign players of their choice, while some lost out in the bidding war and were forced to sign some other stars. However, after the conclusion of the mega auctions, teams were relatively happy with the players they had picked for their respective franchises.
The headline grabber during the auction was Englishman Kevin Pietersen, who was bought by Quetta Gladiators for a fee of £94,000. Other players such as Chris Gayle and Luke Wright also went for huge money during the auctions.
The teams are fairly well balanced in the first edition of the Pakistan Super League with a decent mix of international and domestic players. Teams have the option of playing five foreign players per match; hence they will have to make their decision wisely on their team combination.
The competition should be looked upon by youngsters as a chance to impress the national selectors and get a chance to represent their national team. Young guns from Pakistan should consider themselves lucky to be a part of such a mega exhibition, where they stand a chance of rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest names in world cricket.
With players such as Pietersen, Gayle, Darren Sammy, Shane Watson among others, young cricketers can gain immensely from the competition.
Here is a look at all the five teams in the PSL.
Lahore Qalandar: Chris Gayle, Yasir Shah, Sohaib Maqsood, Mustafizur Rahman, Kevon Cooper, Cameron Delport, Zafar Gohar, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan Zia ul Haq, Naved Yasin, Adnan Rasool Hammad Azam, , Dwayne Bravo, Umar Akmal, Zohaib Khan,.
Supplementary: Ehsan Adil, Abdul Razzaq, Mukhtar Ahmed, Imran Butt.
Coach: Paddy Upton.
Peshawar Zalmi: Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Darren Sammy, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Chris Jordan, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Khan, James Allenby, Shaun Tait, Aamer Yamin, Dawid Malan, Imran Khan (jnr), Shahid Yousuf, Abdur Rehman, Musadiq Ahmed Ali, Hasan Ali.
Supplementary: Mohammad Asghar, Brad Hodge, Israrullah, Taj Wali.
Coach: Mohammad Akram.
Quetta Gladiators: Kevin Pietersen, Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Luke Wright, Elton Chigumbura, Sarfraz Ahmed Zulfiqar Babar, Umar Gul, , Bilal Asif, Asad Shafiq, , Mohammad Nawaz, Saad Nasim, Mohammad Nabi, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Bismillah Khan.
Supplementary: Kumar Sangakkara, Rameez Raja jnr. Aizaz Cheema,
Coach: Moin Khan.
Karachi Kings:Shoaib Malik, Shakib Al Hasan, Sohail Tanvir, Imad Wasim, Ravi Bopara, Lendl Simmons, , Nauman Anwar, Sohail Khan, Mir Hamza, Saifullah Bangash Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Amir, Bilawal Bhatti, James Vince, Iftikhar Ahmed Usama Mir
Supplementary:Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shahzaib Hasan, Fawad Alam.
Coach: Mickey Arthur.
Islamabad United: Shane Watson, Mohammad Irfan, Brad Haddin, Sharjeel Khan, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Umar Amin, Sam Billings Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Andre Russell, Misbah-ul-Haq, Samuel Badree, , Rumman Raees, Amad Butt.
Supplementary: Saeed Ajmal, Hussain Talat Ashar Zaidi, Umar Siddiq.
Coach: Dean Jones.