PSL 2019 – teams and schedule of matches in UAE and Pakistan

Paul Radley has all that you need to know about Season 4 of the Pakistan Super League

Cricket players of Islamabad United celebrate their victory at the end of the Pakistan Super League final match between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on March 25, 2018.
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The 2019 Pakistan Super League will provide a series of firsts for supporters. In the fourth season of the Twenty20 league, which starts in Dubai in February, AB de Villiers will be making his tournament debut.

Abu Dhabi will host PSL matches for the first time – four in two days – while supporters based back in Pakistan will now get to see regular league season games.

Where finals matches have been played in Lahore and Karachi in the past two seasons, now the franchises representing those two cities will get to play in front of home faithful.

That means long-suffering Lahore Qalandars supporters will – assuming he agrees to make the trip – get to see new signing De Villiers in the flesh.

“We have an excellent and balanced team,” new Qalandars captain Mohammed Hafeez said. “I am sure the boys will benefit from AB’s rich experience, and AB himself will have a great time with us.”

For all the new features, there are many old favourites, too.

Shahid Afridi will be back – this time with a third team. Having started out with Peshawar Zalmi, then moved on to Karachi Kings, he is now with a new franchise, yet to be named, and formed from the remnants of Multan Sultans.

“We look forward to welcoming Steve Smith and Shahid Afridi, two absolute legends of the game, to the side and hope they will play their lead roles in helping us cross the line,” said Shoaib Malik, the captain of the “sixth team”.

The franchises

Dubai, March 18, 2018:Islamabad United  celebrates the dismissal of Khurram Manzoor of Karachi Kings during the PSL match at the Dubai International  Stadium in Dubai. Satish Kumar for the National/ Story by Paul Radley

Islamabad United

The defending champions are the most successful side in the three-year history of the PSL, having won the first tournament in 2015, as well as last year. They have an overall win percentage of 61.

Captain: Luke Ronchi (New Zealand)

Pick of their Pakistanis: Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali

Overseas stars: Samit Patel (England), Ian Bell (England), Zahir Khan (Afghanistan)

Pakistani spinner Imad Wasim (L) celebrates with captain and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmad (C) after taking the wicket of World XI batsman George Bailey (R) during the third and final Twenty20 International match between the World XI and Pakistan at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on September 15, 2017.

Karachi Kings

The Kings will have to improve if they are to make it back to a final in their home stadium – where they will play two group-stage matches. They have the second worst win percentage in PSL history, of 42.

Captain: Imad Wasim

Pick of their Pakistanis: Mohammed Amir, Babar Azam, Usman Shinwari

Overseas stars: Colin Munro (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Liam Livingstone (England)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - September 23, 2018: Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman bats during the game between India and Pakistan in the Asia cup. Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 at Sports City, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Lahore Qalandars

Historically the worst-performing franchise, with a meagre win rate of just 35 per cent. But Qalandars did add some silverware to their bare trophy cabinet by winning the Abu Dhabi T20 this year.

Captain: Mohammed Hafeez

Pick of their Pakistanis: Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah

Overseas stars: Sandeep Lamichanne (Nepal), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Corey Anderson (New Zealand)

Darren Sammy, right, captained Peshawar Zalmi to the 2017 PSL title, winning the final in Lahore. Faisal Mahmood / Reuters

Peshawar Zalmi

The only side other than Islamabad United to have their name on the PSL trophy, having won it in 2016. They also have the second-best win rate, having won 58 per cent of their matches.

Captain: Daren Sammy (West Indies)

Pick of their Pakistanis: Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal, Hasan Ali

Overseas stars: Liam Dawson (England), Dawid Malan (England), Kieron Pollard (West Indies)

Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed reacts against New Zealand in their test match in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Quetta Gladiators

They might consider themselves unfortunate not to have won the title yet, having been regular finalists under the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed. The side from Quetta have won 57 per cent of their matches.

Captain: Sarfraz Ahmed

Pick of their Pakistanis: Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir, Anwar Ali

Overseas stars: Fawad Ahmed (Australia), Sunil Narine (West Indies), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates - December 02, 2018: Pakhtoons Shahid Afridi bats during the game between between Pakhtoons and Northern Warriors in the T10 final. Sunday the 2nd of December 2018 at Sharjah cricket stadium, Sharjah. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Sixth team

As yet still to be formally named, but they will be formed from the remnants of the short-lived Multan Sultans franchise, which won 44 per cent of the matches in their brief existence.

Captain: Shoaib Malik

Pick of their Pakistanis: Shahid Afridi, Mohammed Irfan, Junaid Khan

Overseas stars: Nicholas Pooran (West Indies), Steve Smith (Australia), Qais Ahmed (Afghanistan)

The schedule

Thu Feb 14

Dubai – Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars

Fri Feb 15

Dubai – Sixth team v Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators

Sat Feb 16

Dubai – Islamabad United v Sixth team, Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings

Sun Feb 17

Dubai – Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars

Wed Feb 20

Sharjah – Quetta Gladiators v Sixth team

Thu Feb 21

Sharjah – Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings

Fri Feb 22

Sharjah – Sixth team v Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi

Sat Feb 23

Sharjah – Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United v Karachi Kings

Sun Feb 24

Sharjah – Peshawar Zalmi v Sixth team, Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings

Tue Feb 26

Dubai – Sixth team v Islamabad United

Wed Feb 27

Dubai – Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators, Karachi Kings v Islamabad United

Thu Feb 28

Dubai – Sixth team v Peshawar Zalmi, Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars

Fri Mar 1

Dubai – Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United, Sixth team v Quetta Gladiators

Mon Mar 4

Abu Dhabi – Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi, Karachi Kings v Sixth team

Tue Mar 5

Abu Dhabi – Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United

Thu Mar 7

Karachi – Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi

Sat Mar 9

Lahore – Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United

Sun Mar 10

Karachi – Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators

Lahore – Lahore Qalandars v Sixth team

Tue Mar 12

Lahore – Eliminator 1

Wed Mar 13

Karachi – Qualifier

Fri Mar 15

Karachi – Eliminator 2

Sat Mar 16

Rest day

Sun Mar 17

Karachi - Final