The most expensive team of PSL in the first two seasons also does not have so many good memories to cherish about. Kings and their arch rival Qalandars bottomed the group stages both the times. Karachi Kings owned by Salman Iqbal, arranged different events and celebrity dusted promotions off the ground, but unfortunately, their team did not perform on the ground. Though they had a pretty good start in the first season, where they won their first match against Qalandar’s, with the help of Muhammad Amir’s hat-trick. But then their losing streak continued. Under the captaincy of Shoaib Malik, Kings qualified for playoffs. They won only two matches out of eight, however, they were above the Qalandars in the league table with a better head-to-head record and qualified for the league play-off stage.
In the first playoffs match, they faced Islamabad United. Malik stepped down from the captaincy and Ravi Bopara who was also the leading runs scorer of Kings took the charge of the team. But with an outstanding performance by the underdogs of PSL, Islamabad United, they restricted Kings to their lowest total, which was achieved by ISLU in 15th over and journey of Kings came to an end.
The second season of PSL wasn’t very impressive for Kings again.In the second season, Kings entered with their full force and with perfect combination with bat and bowl. Their batting line up included Gayle Storm, former Srilankan captain Kumar Sangakkara, master Blaster Babar Azam, the destructive Kieron Pollard and blistering Bopara. With the bowl, they had Muhammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali with the addition of Imad Wasim and Usama Mir. Sanga took the charge of the team yet they couldn’t turn the tables this time as well.
They had ups and downs but yet managed to qualify for the playoffs by beating ISLU in their last group stage match. It was both good and bad news for the Kings as they had to face ISLU in the eliminator match once again. But this time they made no mistake, even after scoring a low total of 126 runs only, they managed to knock out Islamabad for 88 runs only by an outstanding performance by Aamir, Usama Mir and Imad Wasim. They couldn’t further proceed to the tournament as Zalmi’s knocked them out in the eliminator and ultimately became the CHAMPIONS.
Nevertheless, there is a famous saying that when a loin takes a step back, he jumps forward with more power. We expect the same from Kings for the third season of PSL. Slowly and steadily the team management and the players are learning from their mistakes and moving forward with more enthusiasm.
For the third season, Shahid Afridi joined Karachi Kings as President and player. This time they have again changed the captain. Young and very talented, Imad Wasim has taken the charge. They seem to be well prepared for the third season, having their leading run scorer Ravi Bopara, Babar Azam, Eoin Morgan, Simmons and of course in addition to them, the BOOM BOOM is on their side too. Boom Boom will benefit them with both bat and the bowl. Their bowling line-up is again strong as they have Muhammad Amir, Imad Wasim, Usman Khan, and Tymal Mills.
My money is on Karachi Kings because their players can pull off the game towards their side at any stage. Plus this time they have the support of the legendary Shahid Afridi who was also the part of current Champions, Peshawar Zalmi for two seasons.
We wish all the best to Lala and Imad’s tigers. They have the perfect combination of players, they just need to focus on their strategies.
The current squad of Karachi Kings looks like this:
Batsmen: Eoin Morgan, Lendl Simmons (replaced Colin Munro), Babar Azam, Khurram Manzoor, Colin Ingram, Joe Denly (replaced Luke Wright)
All-rounders: Imad Wasim (captain), Shahid Afridi, Ravi Bopara, Hasan Mohsin, David Wiese, Mohammad Taha
Wicket-keepers: Mohammad Rizwan, Saifullah Bangash
Bowlers: Mohammad Amir, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Tabish Khan, Tymal Mills (replaced Mitchell Johnson)
Find Complete Schedule of Pakistan Super League’s third edition: Click Here