Pakistan Super League (PSL) will help in finalizing players lineup for 2019 Cricket World Cup. PSL was inaugurated in 2016 and is now in its fourth edition. PSL4 will run from 14th February 2019 to 17th March 2019. Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has stated that he and selection committee under Inzamam-ul-Haq will review top players’ performances in Pakistan Super League for inclusion in 15 member Pakistan squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Mickey Arthur feels that ODI Series against Australia and England will also assist in making 15 men strong Pakistan team for CWC 2019 from shortlisted 19 players.
Originally comprised of five franchises, PSL expanded in 2018 to include a sixth side. Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators are founding members of Pakistan Super League. Multan Sultans became sixth franchise of PSL during third season in 2018. Islamabad United have won Pakistan Super League twice while Peshawar Zalmi has been victorious once. Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars represent two largest metropolitan cities of Pakistan, but they have failed to make impact in PSL so far.
Top batting order of Pakistan is performing somewhat consistently with openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq alongwith world class Babar Azam at number 3 position. Pakistan have experienced middle-order batting line-up with Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. Pakistan just need to groom batting finishers from the likes of Haris Sohail, Asif Ali and Hussain Talat. Pakistan Super League offers opportunity to other players also to put on good performance and get looked upon for CWC squad inclusion.
Pakistan’s bowling lineup seems settled for Cricket World Cup 2019. Pace battery of Pakistan has world class bowlers like Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Shinwari. Junaid Khan can also stake claim after regaining fitness. Pakistan’s spin attack has options like Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim. Both are spin bowling all-rounders and offer decent preposition with pace bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
Mickey Arthur said in Lahore after South Africa series: “Inzi and I have been on the same page for a long while here. And I’m going to be honest because I’ve told the boys in the dressing room the same thing the other night. I think we’ve got probably 19 players for 15 positions. PSL always throws up one or two good individual performers, so we are going to have a look at some of our borderline players, the guys that we are not sure about. We have to look at them during the Australian series and then we will make our minds up leading into England, obviously we will be taking 15 there. The key is players get clarity in terms of their roles and role clarity is particularly important. Our planning is done. We’ve got our schedules, we’ve got everything in place leading upto the World Cup. Myself, Inzamam and Sarfaraz [Ahmed] have been completely united in the process that we are going forward.”