PSL 2023 will be played between February 9 and March 19. Four venues – Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, and Multan – will host the matches, which were moved from Lahore and Karachi in the last two seasons due to Covid-19.
Babar Azam will replace Wahab Riaz as the captain of Peshawar Zalmi for the upcoming season of Pakistan Super League. After trading Babar to the Karachi Kings in exchange for Shoaib Malik and Haider Ali, the franchise continued a turnaround that began in 2021 in hopes of building a new core.
Zalmi won the title in 2017 and has made consecutive runs since then, with finals in 2018, 2019 and 2021 and eliminators in 2020 and 2022. Wahab has been a strong pillar for the team. He is the highest wicket-taker in the league and was retained by the franchise. But at age 37, his impact on the field isn’t what it used to be. Earlier this year, they were downgraded from platinum to diamond category of PSL players. Akmal, 40, has been released.
Zalmi has 11 players in the market for the PSL draft to be held on December 15 in Karachi. They have already brought in hard-hitting batsman Mohammad Haris along with Babar, and have retained Sherfan Rutherford, Aamir Jamal (brand ambassador), Salman Irshad and Tom Koehler-Cadmore.
Babar’s PSL journey began with Islamabad United in the inaugural edition of 2016 but he was dropped after two matches. From the following year, he represented Karachi Kings and topped the charts with 2413 runs in 68 matches at an average of 43.60 and a strike rate of 121.97 en route to becoming the tournament’s top run-scorer. However, his relationship with the franchise began to sour and the team slumped under his captaincy, losing nine out of ten matches. Kings will now be led by Imad Wasim.