The Pakistan Cricket Board is determined to make this year’s Pakistan Super League a behemoth of the domestic T20 calendar. Seeing the tournament – which runs from February 20 to March 22 – as having huge potential to generate a lot of revenue for the organization, the PCB has gone all-out to promote the PSL and attract superstar cricketers from around the world.
PSL 2021 will almost certainly step into the limelight in February, with its 400-player strong list of foreign applicants to the Player Draft resulting in some colossal names joining the tournament. Among them, four Windies stars were selected to showcase their skill in the sixth season of the PSL.
Windies players tipped for PSL glory
Across the six teams of the PSL, four selected Windies stars in the Player Draft on January 10. Of the four, it’s Chadwick Walton who’s tipped for glory, with the online betting odds for the Pakistan Super League 2021 outright market putting the Karachi Kings as the favorites at 3/1.
Close behind the reigning champions are the Lahore Qalandars, who picked Afghanistan right-arm leg break Rashid Khan in the Platinum class, but didn’t snap-up a West Indian player. Sitting as the third-favorites, however, is a team that will now automatically command the attention of all short-form cricket fans.
Not only did the Quetta Gladiators draft Tom Banton and retain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Naseem Shah, but they also used their first Platinum pick to reel-in Chris Gayle. Picked out as one of the most notable names to make themselves available for the draft, the ‘Universe Boss’ will add his notorious power hitting to the top of the order, undoubtedly being one of the main reasons behind the Gladiators’ 4/1 odds of winning the tournament.
Due to the PSL being such a condensed tournament of just six teams competing across 34 total matches, a good run of form and a couple of upsets could see any team fly to the top. As such, the Windies stars drafted by lower-rated teams are still in the hunt for glory.
They only need 30 days of quality cricket
In 2019, Carlos Brathwaite was set to make his PSL debut by joining the Lahore Qalandars, but his first campaign in Pakistan was cut short by an ODI call-up before the tournament started. Last season, the World Cup winner played for Peshawar Zalmi, scored 34 runs from three innings, and took five wickets from 9.5 overs.
This season, the all-rounder will be getting the pads on for an underdog outfit, the Multan Sultans. Out at 5/1 with two-time champions Islamabad United, the Sultans are the least-favored to win the 2021 PSL, but aren’t out of the running by any means, what with the Kings being the top pick at 3/1. If Brathwaite is on form, and the other overseas selections Adam Lyth and Chris Lynn deliver, the Sultans could upset the odds.
Sitting just ahead of the underdog duo are Peshawar Zalmi, who decided to use one of their two Diamond picks to add Guyanese 22-year-old Sherfane Rutherford. Still a young bowler, Rutherford has already made his T20I debut and featured in T20 tournaments around the world since 2017.
While it’s Walton and the Karachi Kings who are favored to celebrate winning the PSL crown come March 22, if anyone can upset the odds, it’ll be the mighty Gayle and his Quetta Gladiators.