DUBAI: New-look Karachi Kings won the toss and elected to bat against previous editions’ runners-up Quetta Gladiators in today’s first match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Kings, captained by Imad Wasim in this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL), have revamped their lineup, the trade-in of Shahid Afridi from Peshawar Zalmi being the biggest boost to their squad.
Another boost to the Kings is England captain Eoin Morgan, who was drafted in from Zalmi as well. However, the team might miss the presence of opener Luke Wright, who ruled himself out over fitness concerns. Veterans Kumar Sangakkara, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Mahela Jayawardena were also released by the team to make way for younger blood, after the team had a disappointing run in PSL 1 and managed to finish third in the group stage in PSL 2.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s Gladiators, on the other hand, made it to the finals in both the previous editions, facing a heartbreak each time as the trophy continued to elude them.
This time, Gladiators’ arsenal is stronger than ever: Jason Roy and Shane Watson, who have been traded in from Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United, respectively, bring immense depth to an already consistent side.
Among the youngsters, Afghanistan’s spin sensation Rashid Khan, Pakistan U-19 captain Hassan Khan and fast-rising speedster Jofra Archer bring additional strength to the team.
This article was originally published here.