PSL7 starts in Karachi this Thursday in the National Stadium as Karachi Kings face up against Multan Sultans in the opening match of 2022 tournament.
In the previous six seasons since event inception only Islamabad United have won the event twice in 2016 and 2018.
Arguably Peshawar Zalmi have been the most successful and consistent franchise since the start reaching the playoffs every season and competing in four of the last five finals winning it once under the stewardship of West Indian world cup winning captain Darren Sammy.
Last season Multan Sultans won the title in an event that was truncated due to COVID and was not completed until June 24th with the second half of fixtures as well the final being played in Abu Dhabi.
Of the six franchises contesting in PSL 2022 Karachi Kings led by world premier batsman and Pakistan captain Babar Azam start as marginal favorites at 4.33
CLUB RICHES ODDS
Babar Azam has been prolific with the bat in this event, being the only batsman to reach 2000 runs since 2016 scoring 21 fifties in his 58 matches at an average of 43.12. Put into context no other player in the history of the competition averages over 35 who has played over 30 matches.
Karachi Kings also welcome Englishman Joe Clarke to their squad this term. The talented young wicketkeeper opening batter was a huge success for the Melbourne Stars in the recent Big Bash in Australia and has a blistering strike rate on over 153 in that competition scoring four consecutive fifties. If Clarke takes that form to the PSL Karachi Kings will be very explosive at the top of the order with him and Babar Azam.
Mohammed Amir who is still only 29 has been ever present and spearheads Karachi Kings attack who also have the experience of Mohammed Nabi and Chris Jordan to bowl at the death.
Multan Sultans are skippered by recent ICC T20 World Cricketer of the year in Mohammed Rizwan who is arguably the best wicketkeeper-batsman in world cricket in any format.
Multan Sultans started the 2021 tournament poorly in Karachi but once the tournament switched venues after the COVID interruption to the slower wickets of Abu Dhabi they went on an amazing victorious run which took them to the title beating Peshawar Zalmi emphatically in the final by 47 runs.
Multan Sultans unearthed a star in Shahnawaz Dahani who character and seam bowling skill was a key part of the franchises success taking 20 wickets with a high percentage of quality prize wickets in the powerplay, It will be interesting to see if the 24 year old can continue that initial success. Sultans spin department seems to rely heavily on veteran South African leg spinner Imran Tahir at 42 years of age while the explosive top order batting of Rizwan , Maqsood and Rossouw may need middle order assistance on occasions hence Aussie Tim David has been drafted in.
Given the venue is in Karachi, the Karachi Kings can be backed to win this opening fixture at 1.90 with Club Riches which is top price in the market. Hopefully the wicket in less slow than in Abu Dhabi when then sides last met when the Sultans defeated the Kings by 12 runs and started their run to tournament victory
In the second fixture on Friday 28th the Quetta Gladiators take on Peshawar Zalmi .
Peshawar Zalmi have beaten Quetta on the last four occasions and are 1.72 with Club Riches to repeat that feet on Friday . Quetta were very poor last term winning only two of their matches and being rooted at the bottom of the ladder .
Even with the legend 41 year old Shahid Afridi being drafted in for his final season swan song and the signing of Englishman James Vince it will be tough to see how Quetta can compete for honors this term.
Peshawar Zalmi are very consistent over the years and have seemed to clear the air with Kamran Akmal after a dispute over his low draft pick category.
The legendary opening bat is the second highest all time runscorer in the competition and even at 39 years of age will not surprise anyone if he scores big for Peshawar Zalmi this season
Back both Karachi Kings at 1.90 and Peshawar Zalmi 1.72 with Club Riches the prices are top and the double pays over 32 for the 10 unit stake.