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Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Umairee95, Jun 3, 2017.
Is this really a team?
Multan Sultans set to make the competition tougher
The Multan Sultans, a franchise representing Pakistan's fifth-largest city, will make its debut in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2018.
Their addition will make the PSL’s third edition lengthier as the four-week-long tournament will now host 34 matches — 10 more than the second edition.
The expansion of the PSL, after just two seasons, signifies the popularity the T20 league enjoys in the country.
The Sultans’ sale price is also telling of this fact. The league's first expansion franchise was acquired by the Dubai-based firm Schon Group at a price of $5.2m per year — exactly the double of what was paid for the previous most expensive team: the Karachi Kings.
Multan Sultans' Director of Cricket Operations Wasim Akram speaks at logo launch. —Photo courtesy Multan Sultans
Their roster was completed in two phases. Its core unit — their captain Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakkara, and Sohail Tanvir — came together in October, 2017 when the franchise announced their nine picks from the players released by the other five franchises. The remaining line-up was finalised during the player draft in November.
The franchise roped in Wasim Akram, credited for playing an instrumental role in Islamabad United’s title triumph in the inaugural edition, as Director of Cricket Operations.
Tom Moody, the seasoned Australian coach under whose tutelage Sri Lanka reached the final of the 2007 World Cup and the Sunrisers Hyderabad won the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League, was appointed as head coach.
Sultans’ squad is built around specialist T20 all-rounders in the likes of Malik, Pollard, and Sohail Tanvir, who is the only bowling all-rounder in the list. But their batting is their strongest suit.
With players like Ahmed Shehzad, Darren Bravo, Kumar Sangakkara assisted by pinch-hitters Pollard, Malik, Sohaib Maqsood and globetrotter Tanvir, the Sultans have all the right ingredients to post big scores.
The presence of Pollard and Malik — the third- and the fifth-highest run scorers in the T20 format with 7,883 runs at a strike rate of 151 and 7,450 at 124 respectively — gives them much-desired depth in their batting unit.
It is the spinners who wreak havoc on the pitches in the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. However, the Sultans have invested heavily to take Pakistan’s left-arm pace attack on board with the signings of Sohail Tanvir, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Abbas.
Will Imran Tahir alone be enough to lead the Sultans' attack? —AFP/File
They have also picked Imran Tahir, who has accumulated 217 wickets at an average of 22, in the Platinum category, but they lack a decent spin partner to support the South Africa international. This could potentially allow opposition batsmen an opportunity to score freely in the middle-overs.
Moreover, the Sultans, a newly-knit unit, will require time to gel, which might allow the already established oppositions to bag crucial points against them early on.
Player to watch: Ahmed Shehzad
Many were taken aback when the Sultans picked Ahmed Shehzad in the last round of the Gold category. Once one of the most trusted openers in the Pakistan side, he was slated in the Platinum category, but no franchise opted for the Quetta Gladiators’ discard.
In the previous edition, the 26-year-old accumulated 242 runs in 10 matches at an average of just 27.
Can Ahmed Shehzad find form at the right time? —AP
Wasim Akram admitted that eyebrows were raised when his side announced Ahmed Shehzad as their pick but promised to motivate the opener so that he applies himself 100 percent come PSL time.
Ahmed Shehzad seems to have listened to the advice as he scored 341 runs at an average of 49 in Lahore Blues’ successful National T20 Cup campaign, hitting two 50s and a hundred.
Multans Sultans' Platinum pick Imran Tahir will join the team once the South Africa-India T20 series is over. They have signed the Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera till his arrival.
West Indian wicketkeeper Nicholar Pooran, who will be unavailable for the first three matches because of a 50-over tournament back home, will be covered for by Afghanistan spinner Zahir Khan.
Multan Sultans' owner hopes to win PSL3
KARACHI: The third edition of Pakistan Super League is just around the corner and teams are eager to claim the title. The reigning champions are eyeing to defend the title and others are aiming to perform better than previous editions.
The new entrants to the league, Multan Sultans, are equally confident. And they have a message to competing franchises that the Sultans are going to give them tough time during PSL.
Khizer Schon, the MD of Multan Sultans, said that he’s hopeful that his team will be in action in the final of PSL 3 in Karachi’s National Stadium.
“Saadi vaari” chanted Khizer when asked for a message for supporters and fans of Multan Sultans during an exclusive interview with Geo.tv
“Final will be ours, I am very much confident. It is saadi vaari,” Khizer added.
He said that the combination of Wasim Akram and Multan Sultans will be important for his team and along with the duo of two former captains of Pakistan, his team has some match winners in the side.
“Wasim and Malik will be a lethal combination. Both have a very nice understanding with each other, which will be very good for the team. When you have a team director and captain with such understanding, the team will also come together,” he highlighted.
“We have some very good players in our squad. Shoaib Malik, Shan Masood, Imran Tahir, Pollard, Sohaib Maqsood… they all are very good players,” Khizer added.
Replying to a question, Khizer confirmed that all of his players will be coming to Pakistan if his team makes it to the next round of the league.
“Our all players are willing to visit Karachi and Lahore. We picked players only after confirming if they’re willing to visit Pakistan and play the matches here,” he announced.
“We studied PSL for the last two years and it has emerged as one single entertainment platform in the country and it will only grow in future. It will grow even bigger in future,” said the MD
He also highlighted that Sultans will also conduct talent hunt schemes in the region of southern Punjab and will also create a B team to keep it active throughout the year.
“We will also conduct cricketing activities, we will do a regional talent hunt and will also create a B team of Multan Sultans. We represent a big region and we have to work towards them,” he concluded.
The third edition of Pakistan Super League starts on February 22 with Multan Sultans, the new entrants, taking on the defending champions Peshawar Zalmi in the inaugural match.
3 Youngsta Legunds
Multan Sultans set sights on title
Undaunted: PSL newcomers Multan consider themselves genuine title contenders despite coming up against teams with two years of PSL experience. PHOTO COURTESY: MULTAN SULTANS
KARACHI : Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Multan Sultan may be the new kids on the block but they have made it clear that they are not here to just make up the numbers, instead setting their sights on claiming the title on their first attempt.
Multan Sultan owner Khizer Schon expressed his optimism about their chances of winning the PSL. “We have some of the best players available and we are hopeful of winning the title,” he told The Express Tribune. “We have some experienced players such as Ahmad Shahzad, Shoaib Malik and Imran Tahir. Add to that the presence of Wasim Akram on the bench and it’s clear that we have the required personnel to win.”
Schon has suggested that fans of both Multan and Lahore Qalandars will be marking their calendars for the two ‘Punjab derbies’. “Lahore and Multan have always been rivals; representing northern and southern Punjab respectively. So it’s no surprise that everyone is looking forward to that game.
The Multan owner also revealed that all his players are willing to travel to Pakistan for the games. “We selected only those players who were willing to come to the matches to be held in Lahore and Karachi,” he said. “Therefore we are confident of welcoming all of them to Pakistan if we reach that mark.”
However, despite expressing complete trust in his team, Schon did have one regret: the unavailability of Indian players for the PSL, stating that he would have wanted current and former Indian skippers Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in his side.
We have the best players: Shan Masood
Pakistani opening batsman Shan Masood, speaking from Dubai, was similarly confident ahead of his side’s first game against Peshawar Zalmi in the opening match of PSL3.
“We are in good shape and have a team filled with experienced players,” he said. “Across the board we have some of the best players around, whether it be in batting, bowling, fielding or wicketkeeping.”
The left-hander warned his teammates though that they will face a baptism of fire. “We will be playing together for the first time so our opening game is going to be the toughest; especially since it will be against the defending champions,” he said. “There will be pressure on both sides though so it will come down to who avails their chances better.”
Eager to show what we can do, says Sohail Tanvir
Confidence seems to be available in high quantities within the Multan camp and veteran all-rounder Sohail Tanvir says they are eager to show the world what they can do.
“This is a team playing together for the first time so we want to show everyone what we are capable of and hopefully claim the title,” he said. “Players like Sangakkara, Kieron Pollard and Thisara Perera are sure to help the side. I will also be looking to use my experience to help the players.
‘Great honour to be part of Multan Sultans’
Pakistan Test bowler Muhammad Abbas may have been impressing in the longest format of the game but he is not known for his exploits in the shortest format. Understandable, then, that the Sialkot-born is eager to change that after being selected for his first PSL by Multan.
“Being a part of the PSL with this Multan side is a huge honour for me,” he said. “This is going to be my first PSL so I hope to impress in it in order to make a place for myself in the national T20I side.”
Abbas also praised the domestic league for helping unearth talent for the national side. “The last two editions of the PSL have given Pakistan some new players and I am sure that will be the case this time around too,” he said. “Our players and our coaches are extremely experiences so I will sure we will at least make it to the final, even though we just have a few days to train together before the league begins.”
‘Everyone is optimistic about title’
19-year-old Saif Badar, who was in the Lahore roster last year, also discussed the welcoming environment of the Multan team.
“Lahore was a good side but now I am part of Multan so I will do my best to help the team win,” he said. “Everyone here is incredibly supportive and we are all optimistic about winning the title.”
Will do A LOT better than people are expecting. Dark horses for sure.
Wont be surprised if they win on Thursday.
Mubark ho bhaio
Amir liaquat hussain is the brand ambassador of sultans lol
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Kia chawal maari hai...
LOL Out of all people they made this joker their brand ambassador.
And what a stupid man. Its a bloody tamasha league not jihad that you hve to mention awlia and their nisbat.
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Newcomers Multan bank on experience to make instant PSL splash
Catch me if you can: Imran Tahir sprinted a long way after his first-ball wicket Associated Press
Squad: Shoaib Malik (capt), Kieron Pollard, Kumar Sangakarra, Imran Tahir, Junaid Khan, Darren Bravo, Ahmed Shehzad, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Sohaib Maqsood, Irfan Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Nicholas Pooran, Abdullah Shafique, Saif Badar, Hardus Viljoen, Umar Gul, Ross Whiteley, Umar Siddiq, Shan Masood, Thisara Perera
Best XI: 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 San Masood, 3 Kumar Sangakarra (wk), 4 Thisara Perera, 5 Sohaib Maqsood, 6 Shoaib Malik (capt), 7 Saif Badar, 8 Sohail Tanvir, 9 Hardus Viljoen, 10 Imran Tahir, 11 Mohammad Abbas
Coaching staff: Wasim Akram (director cricket & bowling coach), Tom Moody (head coach), Johan Botha (assistant coach & fielding coach), Muhammad Wasim (batting coach), Nadeem Khan (manager), Haider Azhar (general manager & assistant coach), Andrew Leipus (physio), Yasir Malik (strength and conditioning coach)
Multan Sultans will make their debut this season, meaning the total number of PSL franchises vying for four qualifying spots goes up to six.
Given this is their maiden season, Multan had no players to retain from the previous year, and instead had the pick of nine available players before the draft began. They opted for experience in a big way, their pre-draft players including Shoaib Malik, Kumar Sangakarra, Kieron Pollard, Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan. At the draft, they brought in Darren Bravo, Ahmed Shehzad and Imran Tahir among a raft of other seasoned names, almost as if looking to offset the franchise's lack of experience by filling it with players who have been around long enough. At the same time, there appears to be shrewd and informed knowhow behind their draft picks; the inclusion of Hardus Viljoen and Ross Whiteley, relatively unknown quantities in Pakistan, indicative of that.
Much of the Multan squad reads like a who's who of players who have proven themselves around the world for at least a decade or so. This includes international players, of course, in the shape of Sangakarra, Tahir and Pollard, but the core of the team will be Pakistani players who are themselves impressive repositories of experience. Malik, Junaid, Tanvir and Umar Gul will all wear the Multan shirt this season, all of them boasting a wealth of T20 experience in the conditions the PSL will be played. They might be the newest team this season, but these old hands will know exactly what it takes to win high-pressure games.
Tahir has been one of the world's best limited-overs bowlers for several years now, and though he may be considered a foreign player, the 38-year old began his career in Pakistan and may be as intimately acquainted with the subtleties of Pakistan cricket as several local players. That means the Multan squad could have a more Pakistani feel to it than perhaps any other, and with his exuberant celebrations and infectious joy for the game, the feel-good factor of Tahir in form could sweep right through the camp. Tanvir has a reputation for being valuable at this level, while Junaid, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Abbas and Gul provide bowling options that, on their day, can stifle any team dead in its tracks.
Kieron Pollard celebrates the winning runs with a set of push-ups PCB/PSL
The immediate concern with Multan is their biggest asset could turn out to be a huge handicap if things go awry. Their batting unit looks like it could be the envy of most Test sides, littered as it is with classical, conventional batsmen. Sangakarra, Bravo, and Shan Masood look great on paper, but big, proven power hitters - Pollard excepted - are conspicuous by their absence. Malik will have to step up into a more aggressive role than he is arguably comfortable playing. Across both PSL seasons, Malik has scored 359 runs at a strike rate of 116, which doesn't quite cut it at T20 level.
Meanwhile, regular contributions from Thisara Perera and Tanvir will be essential. Tanvir has never quite struck form in the PSL, enduring two disappointing seasons, both with bat and ball. Multan also rely on Shehzad to provide the early fireworks, and as Pakistan fans will bemoan, reliability is not his strongest suit. On a good day, Multan could comfortably clear 200, but over the course of 10 games, this aspect of their squad could be left rather brutally exposed.
Key foreign players
One glance at the Multan squad tells you they would be banking - quite heavily - on Pollard to be the lynchpin of their batting aggression. It is a faith that he has repaid for West Indies, as well as almost a dozen T20 franchises, an average over 30 at a strike rate above 150 underlining his value in the format. However, Multan will have noted with some concern his dipping form since they drafted him into their squad. A couple of half-centuries aside, he didn't quite manage to accumulate too many runs in the Bangladesh Premier League, and the experimental T10 league in the UAE and the following Big Bash League both brought meagre returns.
However, his all-round abilities help balance the squad, and his fielding exploits on the boundary rope have become the stuff of legend. In addition, he enjoyed prolific returns at the PSL last year, averaging 40 with a strike rate of 171.79. If recent performances are merely an ephemeral blip - and the course of his career has shown they may be no more than that - then Multan have in their squad one of the best T20 players of this generation. His decision to pull out of the World Cup Qualifiers for West Indies also handed his PSL franchise a massive boost.
Under-the-radar local players
Nineteen-year old Saif Badar may not yet be a household names, but if you take the word of coaches who have worked with him, he may well be soon. Earmarked by Aqib Javed as potentially the "next batting hero" for Pakistan, Badar was prolific at the Under-19 World Cup in 2016, scoring 258 runs in six matches, including an unbeaten 75 against England. A right-handed batsman with a high backlift and the ability to generate easy power, Badar could well be the newest youngster to use the PSL as a launchpad for an international career, much like Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz did in previous years.
Sultans coach Moody excited about inaugural PSL match against Zalmi
DUBAI: Former Australian cricketer and Multan Sultans Head Coach Tom Moody has said that his side is excited about its inaugural match in Pakistan Super League (PSL) third edition against defending champions Peshawar Zalmi and players are preparing for it.
He was speaking to Geo News at the International Cricket Academy in Dubai after the first training session of Multan Sultans.
“We are very excited to play our first match of the PSL with the defending champions Peshawar Zalmi and the team is preparing for the first round,” the head coach of the new franchise stated.
Speaking of the talent and experience of players, he said that he believes his franchise has the most experienced players, who have performed at the highest level consistently.
“We are lucky to have players like Kumar Sangakkara, Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard, Ahmed Shahzad, who are a huge plus for the side,” Moody counted his side’s strengths.
He admitted that Multan Sultans is a new franchise in the PSL while other teams already have two-year experience of the tournament.
“However, I am confident that the team is competent and will be playing till the business end of the tournament,” the head coach said.
Replying to a question of his memories in Pakistan as a cricketer, Moody said that he remembered playing World Cup 1987 in Pakistan but remarked that many among the audience would not have been born at that time.
In 2005, Moody was appointed coach of the Sri Lankan national team and he led them to the final of the 2007 World Cup, before leaving the post.
Currently, he has been coaching the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Rangpur Riders in Bangladesh Premier League.
Quick covering up Amir wali chawal?