Stage set for PSL 2023 to entertain cricket fans

Tournament is less than 24 hours away as all top six sides are fully prepared to participate in Pakistan Super League 8th edition

Arsalan Shehzad

The wait is almost over as the action-packed new season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is back to entertain the cricket fans once again. 

The much-awaited PSL is less than 24 hours away with all top six sides fully prepared to participate in season eight. 

The new edition of PSL is commencing with the finalists of the previous season, Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars, locking horns once again but not before a glittering opening ceremony. 

A photograph of Lahore Qalandars from PSL 7. — LahoreQalandars
A photograph of Lahore Qalandars from PSL 7. — LahoreQalandars 

The four big cities will host the PSL 8 matches. Multan, Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi will share between them the 34-match tournament. All six teams are star-studded, but only four top sides, that will perform brilliantly in league stages, will be able to qualify for playoff stages.

How the teams stack up

Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United, and Multan Sultans are the strongest teams on paper, with an impressive mixture of young and experienced players.

Meanwhile, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, and Peshawar Zalmi also have some big international stars who will entertain the crowd with their performances in the PSL 8.

Lahore Qalandars have a great combination of local and international players, who change the dynamics of the match in a difficult situation. Rashid Khan, David Wiese, Harry Brook, and Liam Dawson are the leading weapons of the Qalandars.

Multan Sultans also have a good pool of hard-hitting batters, with the likes of Rilee Rossouw, Khushdil Shah and Tim David. They also have a sensible leader in the shape of Mohammad Rizwan, who has the ability to keep the team together with his astute captaincy. 

The two-time champions Islamabad United have some outstanding international stars — which includes Paul Stirling, Alex Hales, and Colin Munro — who are known for their aggressive batting. 

United also have an in-form captain in the shape of Shadab Khan, who also plays a vital role in the team as an all-rounder. 

In this season, Karachi Kings are likely to miss Babar Azam since he is one of the best batters in the world at the moment. In his absence, the likes of Shoaib Malik and captain Imad Wasim will have to step up for the Kings.

Karachi also have dangerous pacers Mohammad Amir and Mir Hamza in their ranks, who can create difficulties for the opposition side.

Key Players to watch

Babar Azam 

In the new season, Babar will look to lead Zalmi from the front in order to bag the elusive PSL title for Peshawar. Zalmi's management would be hoping that Babar will inspire his new side, after leaving Karachi Kings before the draft last year, with his batting prowess and captaincy. 

Babar has the most runs in all editions of the PSL, with 2,413 runs in 68 matches. He has represented Islamabad United and Karachi Kings in the past editions of the tournament and has a highest score of 80. 

Fakhar Zaman 

Lahore Qalandars' Fakhar Zaman, known for his ruthless batting, could prove dangerous for other teams since he would be looking to make a strong comeback after spending significant time on the sidelines due to injury, recently. 

After Babar and Kamran, Fakhar has scored the most runs in the previous seasons of PSL. The batting backbone of the Qalandars has scored 1,939 runs in 63 PSL matches. He is a key player for his side as he played a great role, most runs in the event in 2022, to help his team become the champions for the first time. 

Mohammad Rizwan

Wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, who has played tremendously well in the T20 format, could be a threat for other teams in PSL 8. Rizwan usually doesn't disappoint his side through his hard-hitting abilities. The Sultans captain has already scored 1,446 runs in 59 PSL matches.

Iftikhar Ahmed 

After hitting six sixes in an over to Wahah Riaz in an exhibition match of PSL 8 in Quetta, the magic of "Ifti Mania" is the talk of the town. The key Quetta batter Iftikhar Ahmed has played tremendously well in the recent past, which was clearly evident from the latest season of the Bangladesh Premier League. 

Shaheen Shah Afridi

Lahore Qalandars captain Shaheen Shah Afridi is hopeful to get back on track after recovering from a knee injury. The lanky pacer is the prime bowler of Qalandars, who helped Lahore become the champion with his sharp bowling and excellent captaincy.

After Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali, Shaheen is the third highest wicket-taker in the PSL. He has taken 70 wickets while representing Lahore Qalandars in 50 appearances.


Islamabad United 

Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Colin Munro, Paul Stirling, Alex Hales, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abrar Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood, Rumman Raees, Zeeshan Zamir, Hassan Nawaz, Moeen Ali (available from March 14), Mubasir Khan, Tom Curran, Zafar Gohar, Gus Atkinson (partial replacement for Rahmanullah Gurbaz), Tymal Mills (partial replacement for Alex Hales), Rassie van der Dussen (partial replacement for Moeen Ali).

Karachi Kings

Haider Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik, Aamir Yamin, Mir Hamza, Sharjeel Khan, Qasim Akram, Matthew Wade, Imran Tahir, James Vince, James Fuller, Andrew Tye, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Akhlaq, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Mohammad Umar, Ben Cutting, Musa Khan, Faisal Akram (partial replacement for Tabraiz Shamsi), Adam Rossington (partial replacement for James Vince)

Lahore Qalandars

Rashid Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, David Wiese, Abdullah Shafique, Harry Brook, Kamran Ghulam, Zaman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Hussain Talat, Sikandar Raza, Liam Dawson, Dilbar Hussain, Mirza Tahir Baig, Ahmed Danlyal, Shawaiz Irfan, Jordan Cox, Jalat Khan, Ahsan Bhatti, Sam Billings (partial replacement for Rashid Khan), Shane Dadswell (replacement for Harry Brook), Shai Hope.

Multan Sultans

Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Rilee Rossouw, Shan Masood, Shahnawaz Dahani, Tim David, Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah, David Miller, Josh Little, Akeal Hosein, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Sameen Gul, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Sarwar, Adil Rashid, Arafat Minhas, Kieron Pollard, Ammad Butt, Wayne Parnell (partial/full replacement for Adil Rashid), Izharulhaq Naveed (partial replacement for David Miller)

Peshawar Zalmi

Babar Azam, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Haris, Aamir Jamal, Salman Irshad, Tom-Kohler Cadmore, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Rovman Powell, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Danish Aziz, Arshad Iqbal, Saim Ayub, Usman Qadir, Suifyan Muqeem, Haseeb Ullah, Jimmy Neesham, Khurram Shahzad, Haris Sohail, Richard Gleeson (partial replacement for Rovman Powell), Peter Hatzoglou (partial replacement for Mujeeb ur Rahman)

Quetta Gladiators

Mohammad Nawaz, Iftikhar Ahmed, Jason Roy, Mohammad Hasnain, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Naveen ul Haq, Umar Akmal, Will Smeed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Naseem Shah, Odean Smith, Ahsan Ali, Umaid Asif, Muhammad Zahid, Abdul Bangalzai, Aimal Khan, Martin Guptill, Omair Bin Yousuf, Qais Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Dwaine Pretorius (partial replacement for Odean Smith), Will Jacks (partial replacement for Jason Roy), Nuwan Thushara (partial replacement for Naveen ul Haq).


(Afternoon matches will start at 2pm local time; evening matches in Karachi, Lahore, and Rawalpindi will start at 7pm. Evening matches in Multan will begin at 6pm except for the tournament opener, which will commence at 8pm)

13 Feb - Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars, Multan Cricket Stadium

14 Feb - Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi, National Bank Cricket Arena

15 Feb - Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators, Multan Cricket Stadium

16 Feb - Karachi Kings v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena

17 Feb - Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi, Multan Cricket Stadium

18 Feb - Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators, National Bank Cricket Arena

19 Feb - Multan Sultans v Islamabad United, Multan Cricket Stadium; Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars, National Bank Cricket Arena

20 Feb - Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi, National Bank Cricket Arena

21 Feb - Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars, National Bank Cricket Arena

22 Feb - Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings, Multan Cricket Stadium

23 Feb - Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena

24 Feb - Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena

26 Feb - Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans, National Bank Cricket Arena; Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi, Gaddafi Stadium

27 Feb - Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United, Gaddafi Stadium

1 Mar - Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium

2 Mar - Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators, Gaddafi Stadium

3 Mar - Islamabad United v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium

4 Mar - Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans, Gaddafi Stadium

5 Mar - Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators, Pindi Cricket Stadium

6 Mar - Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium

7 Mar - Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Islamabad United v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium

8 Mar – Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 1, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators, Pindi Cricket Stadium

9 Mar - Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars, Pindi Cricket Stadium

10 Mar - Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 2, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium

11 Mar - Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 3, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium

12 Mar - Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings, Gaddafi Stadium

15 Mar - Qualifier (1 v 2), Gaddafi Stadium

16 Mar - Eliminator 1 (3 v 4), Gaddafi Stadium

17 Mar - Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier v winner Eliminator 1), Gaddafi Stadium

19 Mar – Final, Gaddafi Stadium