Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed & Aaqib Javed on PSL 3

Pakistan Super League’s third edition is currently underway. Teams are aiming to secure a spot in top four in order to qualify for the semi-finals as the league has entered its second phase. While Lahore Qalanadars has been ruled out of making it to the play-offs considering they have been able to win only one match in the tournament so far against Multan Sultans, after six straight defeats. The newcomers Multan Sultans looked impressive in the first phase of PSL but are struggling now after three consecutive defeats. Meanwhile, Quetta Gladiators have  soared to the top of the league standings with ten points after defeating Peshawar Zalmi. Cricket fans are even more excited as the city of lights; Karachi is all set to host the final match of PSL3 on 23rd March 2018.

We asked a few questions from Captains’ of Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators as well as Head Coach Lahore Qalandars, Aaqib Javed regarding the third edition of PSL right before the start of the league. Here’s what they had to say:

Shoaib Malik, Captain Multan Sultans

What are your expectations from PSL 3?

My expectation for PSL3 is like it was from PSL2, bigger and better than the previous year. The first edition of PSL was very impressive to begin with, but the team behind managed to up the game the following year, and I have no doubt it’ll be the same this year InshaAllah.

Which team do you think will give you a tough time this season?

That’s a tough question! Every team has its strengths and weaknesses, we are doing our homework on all of them, no team is superior or inferior by miles. In Franchise cricket the key to winning is the team combination, the ones who get it right first have the highest chances of winning.

Name a few youngsters whom do you think will impress everyone ?

I feel Shaheen Afridi is definitely one to look out for, Hassan Khan, our U19 captain, was impressive last year and has had a good run to the U19 WC. PSL has been consistently showcasing our younger talents who have been rocking the world, and I feel that is the real success of PSL.

How confident & prepared your team is ?

I’m very confident and the preparations are on-going. Like any new team, there is a minimum duration required for players to start gelling together which includes playing a few matches and figuring out a winning combination. We are determined to start our camp early and secure our spot into the play-offs as early as possible.

Sarfaraz Ahmed, Captain Quetta Gladiators

What are your expectations from PSL 3?

We are really excited about PSL3. I hope Quetta Gladiators will perform better than it has in the previous seasons.

Which team do you think will give you a tough time this season?

It will be unfair to name one team. All teams are excellent and well balanced. They will enter the field with a really good team combination this time around.

Name a few youngsters who you think will manage to impress everyone?

There are some impressive youngsters in almost all the teams. Lahore Qalanadars has got Shaheen Shah on board. We have Saud Shakil and Saad Ali. Even other teams have such youngsters who can have a great impact.

How confident & prepared your team is?

We are quite confident and we will try performing to the best of our ability. The matches in the start are crucial, if the team clicks in those matches we will gain a good momentum which we can carry forward in the tournament.

Aaqib Javed, Head Coach Lahore Qalandars

What are your expectations from PSL 3?

In simple words, expectations are to win this time because that’s the only option we have this time around.

Which team do you think will give you a tough time this season?

All teams look very balanced because every team has 4-5 match winners and it all depends on rising at the right time. The beauty of franchise cricket is that every team is balanced with 4-5 match winners unlike international teams in which only a few teams come at the top.

Name a few youngsters whom do you think will impress everyone?

Shaheen Shah, Khushdil, Sohail Akhtar who is not young but a new face in cricket and Sahibzada Farhan.

How confident & prepared your team is?

I think we are the only team who had training plans all year round in our Lahore Qalandars academy. Plus the training camp which we had in Lahore before flying to Dubai will get us extra miles before we kickstart our campaign in UAE.