One of the most loved franchises in the Pakistan Super League is Peshawar Zalmi (PSL). They became one of four title-winners in the tournament’s history. Because of the passion, they show on the grounds, the Zalmis has become a favorite of many.
Zalmi is the only side to have qualified for the play-offs alongside Karachi Kings in all five editions of the tournament. In 2017, they won the tournament and are still likely to score big in the 2021 edition.
In the fourth edition of the tournament that took place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the franchise had some of the most famous players to play for them. The ex-pat Pathans would come to watch the ever-green Shahid Afridi and the two-time T20 World Cup-winning West Indies captain Daren Sammy.
Zalmi were the crowd favorites back in the last edition because of the pull they have with the quality of players in their line-up. Afridi is now pursuing his trade with the Multan Sultans, while Sammy is now in the position of head coach, leaving Wahab Riaz in charge as the leader of the franchise.
The franchise also has the two most experienced T20 specialists in Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal featuring alongside Wahab.
With 1,537 runs from 56 matches, Kamran is the most prolific run-getter in PSL history and has also struck three centuries-most in the history of the tournament. However, his form left a lot to be desired in the 2020 edition as he scored just 251 runs despite striking a hundred in the league process.
In the 2020 event, on the other hand, Malik hit three half-centuries.
The young Haider Ali, who is already branded as the next star of the generation, complements the seasoned trio of Malik, Kamran, and Riaz. In the last edition, Haider scored 239 runs. Haider is expected to make a significant impact this season now that he has played for Pakistan in international cricket.
Zalmi’s 2020 dissatisfaction can be pinned on the less than optimistic returns of international hires.
In the T20 Blast with the county side Somerset, England’s Tom Banton was brought for his reputation, but he came a cropper on the slow pitches, managing just 74 in seven matches. Liam Livingstone and Liam Dawson, the other English team, were also not as good as in the previous version.
Top-order Yorkshire batsman Tom-Kohler Cadmore replaced Liam Livingstone for the India tour, who was drafted into the England T20 team.
This year, since he has some domestic cricket obligations, Peshawar will have the fantastic striking South African David Miller, but only for the later stages of the tournament. Sherfane Rutherford of West Indies will be another player to look out for, which is an outstanding finisher.
The core of the pace attack led by Wahab, who is also the leading wicket-taker in PSL history with 76 in 55 matches, will be fast-rising all-rounder Amad Butt, lanky Mohammad Irfan, and experienced Umaid Asif. The other vital cog in the fast bowling attack is English pacer, Saqib Mahmood.
In addition, the Zalmi franchise also has some thrilling fast bowlers including Mohammad Amir Khan, Pakistan’s U19 hero, who stole the spotlight at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 with his pace. Imran Randhawa will also be in the news this season with his swinging yorkers.
However, the exit of Hasan Ali after five years will be the biggest gap that Zalmi has to somehow fill this time around.
Afghanistan’s magical spinner, Mujeeb-Ur-Rehman, who has won a reputation in numerous leagues around the world, will support Peshawar’s spin strike. After appearing briefly for Karachi Kings in an earlier PSL season, young mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed will also be eager to take wickets.
Wahab Riaz (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, David Miller, Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Imran Randhawa, Mohammad Irfan Senior, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bopara, Saqib Mahmood, Sherfane Rutherford, Shoaib Malik, Tom-Kohler Cadmore and Umaid Asif.