Star batter Babar Azam has been chosen as captain of Peshawar Zalmi for the 8th season eight of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Pakistan’s all-format captain and one of the most successful batters in the tournament’s history had left Karachi Kings recently.
Babar Azam in PSL 2023:
The competition’s all-time leading run-scorer moved from Karachi Kings last month, where he has played 66 of his 68 PSL matches. The competition’s all-time leading run-scorer moved from Karachi Kings the previous month; where he has played 66 of his 68 PSL matches. Babar Azam scored 2,413 runs at 42.33 across seven seasons of the six-team tournament and 2,413 runs at 42.33 across seven seasons of the six-team tournament. During the last season; the Kings were led by Azam and became the first team to lose 9 matches in a single edition of PSL.
Wahab Riaz captained the side last season, and though he has been retained for 2023, the Pakistan captain will take over. Zalmi won the title in 2017 and has had a consistent score since; making the grand finals in 2018, 2019, and 2021 and also the eliminators in 2020 and 2022. Wahab has been a great leader for the team. He is the league’s leading wicket-taker and was retained by the franchise last time. But at 37 years old, his boldness on the field is not what it used to be.
Previously, he was turned down from the platinum to diamond category of PSL players in the last year. Akmal, 40, has been released. Zalmi is in the market for their 11 players in the Pakistan Super League draft on December 15 in Karachi. They have already brought in hard-hitting batters Mohammad Haris and Babar and retained Sherfane Rutherford, Aamir Jamal, Salman Irshad and Tom-Kohler Cadmore. For Babar Azam, the PSL journey started with Islamabad in the inaugural edition in 2016, but he was getting ignored after two matches.
Since the previous year, he has represented Karachi Kings and bossed the charts with an average of 43.60 and a strike rate of 121.97. It is how he became the tournament’s highest run scorer, racking up 2413 runs in just 68 matches. However, his bonding with the franchise started to sour, and the team was demoted to the bottom under his captaincy, losing 9 out of 10 games. Kings will be led by Imad Wasim now.
Azam’s PSL career till now:
Babar Azam is considered one of the most stylish modern-day batters with established international and league cricket records. Although he played in different leagues all around the world, we are going to analyse Babar Azam’s PSL career. How many PSL teams has he been to so far represented? The answer is two. The first was Islamabad United; which he joined during the inaugural season of PSL in 2015, and the second was Karachi Kings, which he has been a part of since 2017.
Babar Azam in PSL 01 scored only 15 runs for Islamabad United in two matches with a batting average of 7.5. Based on the above table, Babar Azam’s PSL stint with Karachi Kings has been more fascinating regarding runs achieved and batting average. He only got to play in two games for Islamabad United; but Karachi Kings provided him with the majority of his exposure with more than 50 matches in his PSL career.
In 2022, Babar played 10 matches and scored 343 runs with a batting average of 38 and 02 half centuries. Azam’s highest score in PSL is 90 (against Multan Sultan and Peshawar Zalmi), and he achieved this figure twice in the 2021 and 2022 seasons of PSL. In both innings, he remained undefeated for Karachi Kings.
Babar Azam was announced as captain of Karachi Kings in the 2020 PSL season. Since then, he has captained Karachi Kings in 11 PSL matches. As a captain, he scored the highest individual score of 90 runs. His batting Average as a captain is 37, with 02 half-centuries to his name for Karachi Kings.
Chairman of Peshawar, Mr Zalmi Javed Afridi; praised Babar Azam as the best batter in all three formats and the pride of the Pakistan Super league. He said, “Peshawar Zalmi will perform brilliantly in the PSL 8 under his captaincy”. The man also added that Babar’s world-class batting and captaincy experience would help Peshawar Zalmi.
Peshawar Zalmi’s management also thanked the former captain and the most successful bowler of PSL history; Wahab Riaz, expressing the hope that Wahab would continue to give match-winning performances in the PSL 8 as he did in the past.