The fourth season of the PSL will begin on February 14, with the encounter between the defending champions Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars in Dubai.
The Pakistan Super League has been one of the most entertaining league since its start in 2016. It has given a chance to many Pakistani and overseas players. The player is either capped or uncapped. Every season, we witness talented foreign players - both professional and amateur.
Last season, the Kiwi wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi made his PSL debut for Islamabad and ended up as the highest run-scorer of the tournament. The English all-rounder Joe Denly had impressed with his outstanding knocks for the Karachi Kings. The Proteas leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who made his PSL debut for Multan Sultans, has been impressive in the tournament and ended up as the joint-highest wicket-taker by an overseas bowler. The Barbadian pacer Jofra Archer played two matches for Quetta Gladiators and was sidelined due to a side strain.
This season, many overseas players were bought at a high price in the auction, and it will be fascinating to see how these players compensate their franchises.
Let us take a look at the top 5 foreign cricketers making their debut in PSL 2019.
#1 AB de Villiers (Lahore Qalandars)
AB de Villiers has been an obvious choice for the teams across the T20 competitions. Hailing from Pretoria, he is devastating as well as the most dreaded batsman of all time. He has impressed with astonishing performances in the IPL, MSL and BPL. He played for Tshwane Spartans in the inaugural edition of Mzansi Super League. He scored an unbeaten century in his fourth match of the Bangladesh Premier League while playing for Rangpur Riders against Dhaka Dynamites on 28th January. He is a match winner who can win games on his own.
The Lahore Qalandars failed to qualify for the playoffs in the last three seasons and lost the most number of matches in PSL history. So, ABD's inclusion to the Qalandars squad shows intent from the franchise that they want to seriously succeed.
#2 Colin Munro (Karachi Kings)
Munro is a destructive batsman. He was a part of the Karachi Kings in PSL 2018. But he decided not to play and was replaced by Lendl Simmons. He has been magnificent in many T20 leagues like the CPL, Super Smash, etc. As a result, the franchises have been looking to buy such players.
He is the only Kiwi player to smash three centuries in the T20I format. He is an aggressive opening batsmen and can take the game away from the opposition if he gets going. He has the talent to hit the balls all around the park.
The Karachi Kings secured the third position in 2017 and '18. They are looking to win the trophy for the first time. The franchise will be boosted by the inclusion of Munro to the squad.
#3 Laurie Evans (Multan Sultans)
Laurie Evans has played in different T20 leagues across the globe, and so far he has proved to be successful. He was the highest run-scorer in the NatWest T20 Blast. The Sussex batsman has begun to play overseas T20 leagues since October 2018. He played for Kabul Zwanan in Afghanistan Premier League along with Afghan leggie Rashid Khan and finished as the highest run-scorer for the franchise.
Evans was a part of Rajshahi Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League and scored his first T20 century against Comilla Victorians on the 21st of January at Dhaka. He played for Rajputs in the T10 league in 2018 but didn't get enough opportunities to prove himself. He has never played for England but could represent his nation in the future.
Multan Sultans failed to qualify for the playoffs on their debut season and are looking to win the competition. So, Evans can strengthen the middle order and score vital runs for his team.
#4 Sandeep Lamichhane (Lahore Qalandars)
Sandeep Lamichhane will be the first player to represent Nepal in the PSL. He has been a rising star for Nepal cricket. He was a part of the Delhi Daredevils and picked up five wickets in the three matches he played. He represented Montreal Tigers in the Global T20 Canada and had a fine campaign. He didn't get chances to prove himself in the Caribbean Premier League and Afghanistan Premier League.
Sandeep had a poor campaign for Sylhet Sixers in the BPL. He played for the Melbourne Stars in the BBL and performed reasonably well. He helped Nepal in winning their first T20I and ODI series against the UAE.
With his wicket taking ability, Sandeep is a valuable addition to the Lahore Qalandars and if he is in form then be sure that he will win games for his team.
#5 Harry Gurney (Quetta Gladiators)
Harry Gurney, a bowler from Nottingham, has played 10 ODIs and 2 T20Is in his international career. He is one of the top bowlers in the T20 Blast. His first overseas tournament was the T10 league, where he represented Northern Warriors and picked up two wickets in two matches.
Gurney started his Big Bash League career for Melbourne Renegades on 13 January 2019. He picked up eight wickets in just seven games with an economy of 7.23. He has been picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for 75 lakhs and will debut for the team in IPL 2019. If he performs well, he might be recalled to the English side.
Quetta were runners-up of the PSL twice in 2016 and '17. They secured the fourth position in the third edition and are desperate to win the title for the first time. Harry can trouble the opposition with his ability to bowl yorkers and can lead the pace attack of his team. So he is a an excellent inclusion and will help his team especially in the death overs.
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