PSL 2023: Shadab Khan eyes third trophy

By
Faizan Lakhani
Islamabad United skipper Shadab Khan speaks during an interview with Geo News in Karachi, on February 14, 2023. — Photo by author
Islamabad United skipper Shadab Khan speaks during an interview with Geo News in Karachi, on February 14, 2023. — Photo by author

Islamabad United skipper Shadab Khan aims at getting his side the Pakistan Super League (PSL) trophy for the third time ahead of his side's opening clash against Karachi Kings, scheduled on February 16.

In an exclusive interview with Geo News, Shadab said: "Every team in the PSL is here to become champions, and the intention of my team is also to become the champions. Hope the fans will like the Islamabad team this time."

PSL 2023: Shadab Khan eyes third trophy

The skipper of two-time champions said his team's style of playing is what makes it different from other teams. The talismanic all-rounder also said that the management of his side was focused on retaining batting depth.

"We went for depth in the batting during the draft and earlier in the retention of players. We got the players that we wanted in the draft. Hopefully, the team will do good in PSL 8," he said.

Shadab also shed light on United's injuries last year and said keeping in mind the unfortunate injuries of PSL 7, the management has roped in a backup of every player so there would be no problem.

When asked about his personal goal in PSL 8, he said: "Every player wants to be the best cricketer in this tournament. Likewise, I want to perform well and become the best cricketer of PSL."

Talking about his marriage life and cricket Shadab, who recently got married to former cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq's daughter, said he would try to maintain balance.

It is should be noted here that the PSL 8 kicked off at the Multan Cricket Stadium after a glittering opening ceremony, touted as the "best-ever".

Islamabad were crowned champions in 2016 and 2018, which makes them the only team to win the title twice. United beat Quetta Gladiators in the final of the inaugural season, in 2016, by six wickets to clinch the trophy. In 2018, they defeated Peshawar Zalmi by three wickets in the title-deciding match.

They have also qualified for the playoffs of all the seasons of PSL, except for 2020.

After being knocked out in Eliminator 2 of PSL 7, United would be looking to go one step further and lift the trophy this season.

Squad

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)