Thursday, April 18, 2024

Karachi Kings on the hunt for their second HBL PSL title with a rejuvenated energy

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Photo Credit: Karachi Kings

The HBL PSL 9 is around the corner and Karachi Kings, with a new coach and captain, is entering the tournament with oodles of optimism and they’ll show faith in their local talent as well as global star power to rebound.

Karachi Kings will get their PSL campaign underway on 18 February against Multan Sultans at the picturesque Multan Cricket Stadium.

They’ve snapped up West Indies superstar Kieron Pollard in their squad who will try to swing their fortunes with his all-round capabilities.They have also secured the services of Australia all-rounder Daniel Sams as well as retained seasoned campaigner Shoaib Malik.

Pace bowling is further stacked with Mir Hamza and Anwar Ali who will provide squad depth given their vast domestic experience and international exposure as well.

Karachi Kings managed to bag only three wins in the 2023 season and despite having the firepower in their ranks to spring more surprises, they could not coalesce as a unit.

The team’s ethos includes resilience and a fighting spirit, and they’ll be aiming to rejuvenate this season and give Karachi fans a lot to cheer about.

The 2020 HBL PSL champions are determined to hit the ground running early on as the highly-experienced Shoaib Malik will be looking to shine at the twilight of his career.

Phil Simmons comes with a wealth of coaching experience. He coached West Indies and is at present the head coach of Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and LA Knight Riders in Major League Cricket (MLC).

“The decision to bring in Phil Simmons as head coach was influenced by his impressive credentials, including being a T20 World Cup-winning coach,” said Salman Iqbal, owner of Karachi Kings.

“His experience in guiding teams to success at the highest level adds a valuable dimension to our coaching setup, and we look forward to harnessing his expertise for a successful campaign in the upcoming HBL PSL edition and to build a team for the future.”

Kings appointed Shan Masood as their captain who currently leads the Pakistan Test team. Karachi Kings’ director Haider Azhar shed light on the decision to appoint Shan as skipper of the side.

“Securing Shan Masood for Karachi Kings was nothing short of a coup for us. His leadership qualities and captaincy feats are well-documented and we are proud to have a local boy from Karachi lead the team,” said Haider Azhar.

“On a personal note, having worked closely with Shan in the past, I believe he is the ideal captain for our team that will be undergoing a transitional phase and we expect him to be central to our project.

On the objectives set for this year’s HBL PSL, Haider Azhar said, “Our first objective for this year has been to set up a platform and building blocks for the future, all the while assembling a squad that would be competitive in the upcoming edition of HBL PSL.

“We have a healthy mix of experience and youth in our squad with five players under the age of 24 years, supported by seasoned campaigners and proven performers.”

Salman Iqbal, highlighting the importance and progress of the HBL PSL, said: “The progress of the HBL PSL over the years has been phenomenal, not only elevating the standard of T20 cricket but also playing a pivotal role in the development of Pakistani talent. The league has become a significant platform for showcasing local talent, providing them exposure and opportunities at the international level.

Talking about Karachi’s fortunes for the upcoming season, Salman said, “Karachi Kings fans can anticipate a major turnaround this year. With a strategic rebuild, a balanced squad, experienced leadership, and a focus on exciting yet measured cricket, we are optimistic about our prospects in the upcoming season.

“The team is geared up for a competitive campaign, aiming to deliver performances that will make our fans proud and contribute to a successful journey in the ninth edition of HBL PSL.”

Karachi Kings fixtures for HBL PSL 9

18 February v Multan Sultans, Multan Cricket Stadium

21 February v Peshawar Zalmi, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

24 February v Lahore Qalandars, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

28 February v Islamabad United, National Bank Stadium, Karachi

29 February v Quetta Gladiators, National Bank Stadium, Karachi

3 March v Multan Sultans, National Bank Stadium, Karachi

6 March v Quetta Gladiators, Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

7 March v Islamabad United, Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi

9 March v Lahore Qalandars, National Bank Stadium, Karachi

11 March v Peshawar Zalmi, National Bank Stadium, Karachi

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