Lights, camera, action! Muzaffarabad all set to host Kashmir Premier League season one
The inaugural edition of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL) will kick off from Friday in Muzaffarabad, while the final of the tournament will be played on August 17.
The 20-over league will feature six teams— Rawalakot Hawks, Kotli Lions, Mirpur Royals, Muzaffarabad Tigers, Overseas Warriors and Bagh Stallions.
The action-packed tournament will commence with an opening ceremony at 6pm. The first game of the event will be played between Shahid Afridi-led Hawks and Shoaib Malik’s Royals at 20:30 local time.
Clear your schedules❕
— Kashmir Premier League (Official) (@kpl_20) August 2, 2021
History of Muzaffarabad Cricket Stadium
The picturesque stadium of Muzaffarabad has not hosted any competitive cricket contest so far; therefore, there is no recorded history of the matches played at the venue. The highest-standard game that is being played on the ground is of Grade II level.
It is the first time that this cricket field will be hosting T20 matches. Moreover, the venue will host numerous 20-over games in the future as reportedly, the KPL authorities have booked the stadium for the next 13 years.
The authorities have installed state-of-the-art floodlights in the stadium so that night matches can be played which is bound to increase excitement in the local fans
Players and replacements
After much drama and threats from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), English players, including Monty Panesar, Owais Shah and Matt Prior, pulled out of the tournament.
However, Sri Lanka’s former captain Tillakaratne Dilshan, former South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs and former West Indian fast bowler Tino Best have opted to participate in the league despite BCCI’s hollow efforts.
Due to the unavailability of a few national and international cricketers, franchises have picked supplementary players to strengthen their respective squads.
Aamer Yamin, Sameen Gul and Umar Amin have been roped in by Bagh Stallions, Mirpur Royals and Rawalkot Hawks, respectively, in the Gold Category.
Meanwhile, Mirpur Royals have also drafted Kashif Bhatti in the Silver Category as a supplementary player.
On the other hand, the injured left-handed batsman Haris Sohail has been replaced by Kamran Ghulam in the Overseas Warriors’ squad.
Furthermore, Kotli Lions will be captained by the experienced wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal in place of the star opening batsman Fakhar Zaman.
Weather, the potential spoiler
The weather of the Muzaffarabad region is quite unpredictable and during the 10-day tournament, there is a forecast for heavy and light rains. There is a strong possibility that some matches may witness a reduction in the number of overs due to rain and wet outfield.
Given the circumstances, it will not be a surprise if the majority of the captains choose to bowl first after winning the toss throughout the event.
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