LAHORE, MAR 19 (DNA) — Shaheen Shah Afridi of Lahore Qalandars was appointed as captain of the Team of HBL PSL 8 by an independent panel that was headed by Haroon Rashid (Chairman of HBL PSL 8 Technical Committee) and also included respected commentators Bazid Khan, Daren Ganga, Nick Knight and Sana Mir as members.
While selecting the side, the independent panel considered a number of T20 cricket aspects, including consistency, impact on the side and overall game, and best possible team combination.
Shaheen Shah Afridi inspired Lahore Qalandars to finish on top of the points table with seven wins, then helped his side to bounce back from a Multan Sultans drubbing in the Qualifier by overcoming Peshawar Zalmi in Eliminator 2, and, finally slapped a 15-ball 44 not out and took four for 51 to not only walk away with the player of the final award but also guided his side to their second successive HBL PSL title.
Since the concept of Team of HBL PSL was introduced in 2019, this is the fourth successive year Shaheen Shah Afridi has made it to exclusive side.
The side also includes Multan Sultans’ Emerging Category players Abbas Afridi and Ihsanullah, who won the Emerging and Player of HBL PSL 8 awards, respectively. Like the Multan duo, it is also the first time for Mohammad Haris and Azam Khan be selected in the team of the tournament.
Overall, the side includes five players from losing finalists Multan Sultans, two players each from Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi, and one player each from Islamabad United and Karachi Kings.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam have been selected as openers, with Mohammad Haris, Rilee Rossouw, Azam Khan and Kieron Pollard forming a formidable middle-order. Imad Wasim, who has been picked in the Team of HBL PSL for the first time, comes in as an all-rounder, followed by wrist spinner Rashid Khan and three fast bowlers in Shaheen Shah Afridi, Ihsanullah and Abbas Afridi.
This is the fourth time in five years Babar has been selected as an opener, though it is the first time with his Pakistan team partner Mohammad Rizwan, who himself has been chosen in the team of the tournament for the third successive time.
Team of HBL PSL 8 (in batting order): Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans) (550 runs, 1×100, 4×50, strike-rate 142.85); Babar Azam (Peshawar Zalmi) (522 runs, 1×100, 5×50, strike-rate 145.40); Mohammad Haris (Peshawar Zalmi) (350 runs, 2×50, strike-rate 186.17); Rilee Rossouw (Multan Sultans) (453 runs, 1×100, 3×50, strike-rate 171.59); Azam Khan (Islamabad United) (282 runs, 2×50, strike-rate 161.14); Kieron Pollard (Multan Sultans) (260 runs, 2×50, strike-rate 163.52; 3 wickets, 8.62 eco.); Imad Wasim (Karachi Kings) (404 runs, 3×50, strike-rate 170.46; 9 wickets, 7.93 eco.); Shaheen Shah Afridi (Lahore Qalandars) (captain) (133 runs, strike-rate 168.35; 19 wickets, 9.13 eco.); Rashid Khan (Lahore Qalandars) (20 wickets, 6.53 eco.); Abbas Afridi (Multan Sultans) (23 wickets, 9.45 eco.); Ihsanullah (Multan Sultans) (22 wickets, 7.59 eco.); and Saim Ayub (Peshawar Zalmi) (341 runs, 5×50, 165.53). — DNA