Babar Azam says: “I am very excited to be leading Karachi Kings this season.'
KARACHI: The wait is about to over for cricket fans as the thrilling seventh edition of the Pakistan Super League is all set to commence on Thursday (tomorrow) at the iconic National Stadium in Karachi with defending champions Multan Sultans facing off 2020 champions Karachi Kings following a curtain-raiser opening ceremony.
Babar Azam, who made the record for most T20I wins as captain in a calendar year with 20 in 2021 and was crowned ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year, will lead Karachi Kings while, Mohammad Rizwan, the first-ever batter to score more than 1,000 T20I runs in a calendar year, will head the Multan Sultans.
'Multan Sultans can prove to be a tough opposition'
In a statement, Babar Azam said: “I am very excited to be leading Karachi Kings this season. This is the first instance that I will be captaining in the PSL and I am looking forward to it.”
“The first match of the tournament always has a lot of eyeballs and Multan Sultans can prove to be tough opposition. I am sure the fans will get to see a thrilling contest,” he added.
“Peter Moores is a seasoned coach and I have had fruitful discussions with him. Karachi Kings will display good, competitive cricket this season,” said Babar Azam.
Mohammad Rizwan vows to defend PSL title
Meanwhile, defending captain Mohammad Rizwan has said that the team has everything it needed to retain the trophy.
He said: “We have all the potential to defend our PSL title and we will be taking the field tomorrow with that mindset. This season will present us with new challenges and we will have to plan accordingly.
“Babar Azam is a wonderful batter and captain, and his leadership will certainly have a good impact on Karachi Kings. I am hopeful that the HBL PSL 7 will kick off with a great contest between the two sides,” he added.
25% crowd attendance for Karachi-leg matches
As per the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) directive, the seating capacity has been reduced to 25% for all matches in Karachi, while a decision on the number of spectators in Lahore to be taken in due course. The health and safety protocols for this edition is available here
On the second match day on Friday, Quetta Gladiators will play Peshawar Zalmi with the match starting at 2 pm (Pakistan standard time), while the third match day on Saturday will serve the fans a double-header with Multan Sultans playing Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings taking on Quetta Gladiators.
Lahore Qalandars, captained by young Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has had a stratospheric rise in international cricket since his debut in 2018, will hope the change in leadership leads to a change in their fortunes and they secure the glittering trophy.
Islamabad United are led by Shadab Khan. Sarfaraz Ahmed, who is the only player to lead his side in all the editions, will continue to command his Gladiators from Quetta, while Peshawar Zalmi will be led by Wahab Riaz.
National Stadium will host the first 15 matches till February 7, before the action moves to Lahore, where Gaddafi Stadium, the home of Pakistan cricket, will stage the last 19 games from 10-27 February.