The exhilarating action witnessed in the first two seasons of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is expected to go a level up during the tournament’s third edition. The reason is the entry of some top foreign players in the PSL circuit. From nearly a dozen new foreign players that will dazzle crowds we will take a look at three foreign stars that could have a real impact on the tournament’s third edition.
Islamabad United’s pick in the Diamond category was a player who’ll be almost 37 by the time the tournament gets underway next year. The selection may have raised some eyebrows but in reality United have picked a real diamond in Ronchi. The former New Zealand player who retired earlier in the year boasts an excellent T20 record.
In his 32 T20Is, Ronchi scored 359 runs at an average of just over 18 at a strike rate of an impressive 141.33. His low average can be attributed to the fact that during his international career Ronchi mostly batted at the number six and seven (in 21 out of 25 innings).
Ronchi has plenty of experience of the T20 game with 136 games to his name (non-international matches), he averages slightly over 22 but at a strike rate that won’t make a pretty reading for the bowlers; 152.54.
However, it is his record this year in T20 matches that makes him an excellent pick for Islamabad United. Despite playing mostly in lower positions during his international career, Ronchi has now rebranded himself into a top order power hitter. This year’s Caribbean Premier League saw Ronchi score an impressive 172 runs in just four matches. His 172 runs came at an average of 57 but what made his four match cameo appearance in the tournament really exciting was his strike rate of 179.
In the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League, Ronchi has so far scored 120 runs in three matches at a strike rate of 200 – yes, two hundred.
If the Kiwi wicket-keeper batsman continues his deadly form with the bat, Islamabad United fans are in for a real treat during the upcoming season.
The Lahore-born South African leggie toiled for years; playing for as many as 25 domestic teams before finally earning his first international cap for South Africa in 2011. But since earning his first cap the leg-spinner hasn’t looked backed and now boasts a limited overs record that any bowler will be proud of.
Despite making his international debut so late, in the T20 circuit Tahir is a veteran with 179 T20 matches under his belt. He has 211 wickets to his name in 179 T20s at an average of just under22 and economy rate of 7.13.
His T20I record is far more impressive, only Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan (14.35) and Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis (14.42) boast a better bowling average than Tahir (15.85). The story is same in terms of bowling strike rate where only Netherlands’ Ahsan Malik (13.0) and Ajantha Mendis (13.4) better Tahir (13.9).
New entrants in the PSL, Multan Sultan’s have pulled a major coup by adding such a deadly T20 bowler to their ranks. Tahir also has bags of experience of playing in Asian conditions and will be real asset for the Sultans.
Lahore Qalandars carried their tradition of going for explosive top order batsmen in this year’s draft. Their Platinum pick Chris Lynn promises to bring one thing to the PSL:Lynnsanity.
The Australian batsman has made T20 cricket his forte and boasts one of the most impressive T20 records of any batsman. He is widely regarding as one of the most devastating opening batsmen in the T20 circuit. The right handed batsman has represented Australia in just five T20Is but it is the domestic and league circuit where he brings his A game to the table.
27-year-old Lynn has played 92 T20s and has 2649 runs to his name at an impressive average of 36.79 and strike rate of 147.98. He has 19 half centuries and one ton to his name in the 87 innings he has played so far.
Lynn has also impressed in both the Big Bash and the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the latest edition of the highly competitive Big Bash, Lynn scored 309 runs in 5 matches at an average of 154 and a strike rate of 177 for Brisbane Heat.
He was equally impressive for his IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders in the tournament’s latest edition scoring 295 runs at an average of 49 and a strike rate of 180.98.
Lynn’s selection by Qalandars also means a reunion with Brisbane Heat teammate and former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum. With Lynn and McCullum at the top of the order, aided by two more big hitters in Fakhar Zaman and Cameron Delport, the Qalandars promise some real entertainment.