From boys to men: Five potential breakout stars of the PSL

All five players will be on the radar as PSL promises to be the biggest tournament in the history of Pakistan cricket.

Muhammad Mustafa Moeen January 06, 2016
As the cricketing world prepares itself for the upcoming T20 World Cup in March in India, some of the world’s best cricketers are already packed up and ready to head to Dubai and Sharjah in February to play the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The PSL will go down as Pakistan cricket’s most defining moment.

Below I have listed five youngsters who have dominated the domestic circuit over the past few years and are braced to take on the world:

1. Rumman Raees

For a country that takes pride in its bowlers, Pakistan genuinely lacks seamers who can dodge batsmen with sheer speed. With the exception of Wahab Riaz, none of our bowlers come close to crossing the 140 mark, let alone 150. Rumman Raees however, could be the answer to Pakistan’s bowling concerns. The 24-year-old has long taken over the reins from Muhammad Sami and Sohail Khan and has emerged as the spearhead of Karachi’s bowling attack.

Rumman Raees. Photo: Facebook

Regularly crossing the 140 mark, Rumman Raees has preyed on 42 batsmen in 36 matches at an overwhelming strike-rate of 19.3. His most notable performances came during this year’s regional Haier Mobile T20 Cup, during which he ended the tournament as the joint leading wicket-taker with 16 wickets in 11 matches for the Karachi Blues.

Rumman Raees will be under the apprenticeship of Wasim Akram during his time at Islamabad United and will be playing regularly alongside Muhammad Irfan and fellow Karachi speedster, Mohammad Sami.

2. Usama Mir

Usama Mir stands at the doorstep of international cricket as one of the leading wicket-takers in the Super 8 T20 Cup. The Sialkot based leg spinner has cemented his place in the Sialkot Stallions line-up where he is used as an attacking weapon by the captain. Unusually tall for a spinner, Usama Mir stands at six feet three inches which plays out to his advantage since he gets his deliveries to bounce awkwardly from the good-length area.

Usama Mir. Photo: Facebook

Usama Mir is a rarity in the cricketing world since he’s proved handy with the bat during crucial match saving moments as well. While Yasir Shah has indeed established himself as the undisputed attacking option in the longer format of the game, Usama Mir continues to replicate his form in the shorter formats which could pave out a bright future for him.

Fully aware of his ability as both a bowler and a hard hitter lower down the order, Shoaib Malik and Mushtaq Ahmed were quick to select the young talent for Karachi Kings where he will be joining the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Imad Wasim in the spin department.

3. Kamran Ghulam

Age is finally taking its toll on Shahid Afridi, and we’ll definitely be saying good bye to one of Pakistan’s longest-serving veterans in the field of cricket. Islamabad United have picked a bowling all-rounder, Kamran Ghulam, who is being compared to none other than Afridi due to his ability to hit the ball hard and score runs at an abnormally quick run-rate.

Kamran Ghulam. Photo: Facebook

Kamran Ghulam, a spinning all-rounder and a match-winner in the making, made a name for himself during the Under-19 series against England, where he scored a rapid-fire century from a mere 52 balls, hitting a total of seven sixes and nine fours.

With a strike-rate of 168 and 15 wickets in 11 T20 matches, Kamran Ghulam, like Afridi, possesses the ability to change the entire dynamics of the match with only a few balls. With the unfortunate bowling ban on Muhammad Hafeez, the Pakistan cricket team has been restricted to fewer bowling options that can bat as well. However, the 20-year-old from Upper Dir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa could be the answer to Pakistan’s long withstanding fifth bowler issues.

4. Nauman Anwar

Another Stallion from the Sialkot Stallions and the leading run-scorer in his debut during the 2015 Haier Super 8 T20 Cup, Nauman Anwar could be Pakistan’s answer to the issue of continuous shuffling in the upper order. His heroism in the T20 Cup final, 97 from 54 balls, earned him an international call-up despite having played only five T20 matches in the domestic circuit.

Nauman Anwar. Photo: Facebook

Nauman Anwar boasts of an incredibly high strike-rate, almost 140. The 20-year-old has great hand-eye coordination which allows him to instantly pick the line and length of the bowler and react instantaneously. His aggressive attitude, vaguely reminiscent of Imran Nazir during his prime, along with a practical head on his shoulders, helps him pick the odd varieties of bowlers and play his shots in a clinical manner.

5. Zafar Gohar

The slow and left-arm orthodox bowler and a pinch hitter in the later overs, Zafar Gohar has established himself as one of the top names in the domestic circuit. His batting performances played a pivotal role in the U19 World Cup.

The slow and left-arm orthodox bowler and a pinch hitter in the later overs, Zafar Gohar has established himself as one of the top names in the domestic circuit. His batting performances played a pivotal role in the U19 World Cup.

Zafar Gohar, Photo: ESPN Cricinfo

Moreover, his match-winning knock against England cemented Pakistan’s place in the final. Zafar Gohar makes use of angles and varieties, including the straighter and quicker ones, to keep the batsmen thinking. Along with his leg-spin, he has added lower-order firepower in our ranks since the departure of Abdul Razzaq. He joins the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Umar Akmal in the Lahore Qalandars team, where his all-rounder skills will be polished and tested at a higher level.

All five players will be on the radar of the national selection committee as the Pakistan Super League (PSL) promises to be the biggest, most exciting and entertaining tournament in the history of Pakistan cricket.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

Facebook Conversations


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ