The sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is just a couple of days away from commencement and all the franchises have picked some remarkably talented youngsters in the emerging category.
The PSL is deemed to be all about promoting local talent and we’ve decided to shed light on some of the top young talents who would be keen on grabbing the opportunity in the upcoming glamorous event. We have compiled a list of six such players, one from each team.
1. Qasim Akram – Karachi Kings
The Under-19 circuit in Pakistan has always been a platform where talented players have risen to compete at the highest level. Qasim Akram is from the batch of Rohail Nazir and Haider Ali as the trio represented Pakistan in the ICC U19 World Cup 2020 last year.
After some notable performances in U19 cricket, Qasim was drafted into the First XI squad of Central Punjab (CP) where he rubbed shoulders with some senior Pakistan players. He played a complete domestic season for CP and was impressive with both bat and ball.
Qasim’s U19 coach and former Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed rates him as one of the most talented youngsters in the country. He averages 35.36 in first-class cricket and 57.75 in the List A format respectively. He also amassed his maiden List A century in the recently concluded Pakistan Cup 2021.
He bagged a deal with Karachi Kings in the emerging category in the PSL players draft last month, getting a chance to join the dressing room of the reigning champions.
2. Ahmed Daniyal – Lahore Qalandars
22-year-old fast bowler Ahmed Daniyal is another product of Lahore Qalandars’ Player Development Program (PDP). Like most pacers in the country, Daniyal started his journey in the sport playing with the tennis ball.
He was drafted into the Qalandars’ much-publicized PDP and has managed to play across various tournaments. Daniyal featured in the Abu Dhabi T10 League for Qalandars, attracting accolades for his deceptive back of the hand slower balls. He is looking forward to prove his mettle in the forthcoming PSL season.
3. Abrar Ahmed – Peshawar Zalmi
Mystery spinners are quite effective in the T20 format and Abrar Ahmed is making a comeback to the PSL after a long gap of four years. Still in his teens back then, Abrar made his PSL debut in the 2017 edition for Karachi Kings but his excellence came to the fore only in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2020-21.
After wreaking havoc in the QeA Trophy 2nd XI tournament, Abrar was fast-tracked into the First XI squad and things began to fall in place for the spinner. He’s been picked by one-time PSL winners Peshawar Zalmi and is likely to create an impact with his magical spin bowling.
4. Shahnawaz Dhani – Multan Sultans
Multan Sultans have always been encouraging deserving youngsters through the platform of PSL and they are set to unleash one of their emerging fast bowlers in Shahnawaz Dhani during the approaching season.
Dhani had a wonderful QeA Trophy campaign with Sindh, picking up 27 wickets in just eight matches. The 22-year old paceman is known for generating steep bounce off the surface and his tall height favors his style of bowling.
Interestingly, Dhani hasn’t played any T20 matches in the domestic arena but the Sultans’ management appears to be confident about his limited-overs credentials.
5. Mohammad Wasim Jnr – Islamabad United
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) won all three domestic competitions of Pakistan in the 2020/21 season and 19-year-old all-rounder Mohammad Wasim Jnr, who hails from North Waziristan, was their X-factor.
He has been chipping in with crucial wickets and handy runs lower down the order and Islamabad United have picked him on the basis of his power-hitting abilities.
He’s extremely ideal to complement someone like Faheem Ashraf in the squad as their second seam-bowling all-rounder in the line-up. In the absence of Amad Butt, Wasim could beef up the lower order of the Shadab Khan-led side.
6. Saim Ayub – Quetta Gladiators
Remember the stylish 15-year-old southpaw smacking the U16 boys of Australia to all parts of the ground a few years ago? Saim Ayub is one of Pakistan’s brightest talents and he’s all set to represent the Gladiators in Pakistan’s marquee tournament.
The aggressive batsman will definitely benefit from the opportunity of playing alongside guys like Chris Gayle and Faf du Plessis. Saim is highly rated by critics and we are awaiting a potentially stellar display from him.