The Pakistan Super League 2019 team of the year features some eye-brow raising selections, with just one player chosen from champions Quetta Gladiators but two from Lahore Qalandars, the side that finished last for the fourth straight year.
The side selected by a panel comprising Mudassar Nazar, Ramiz Raja and Danny Morrison sees Lahore Qalandars superstar AB de Villiers named its captain.
De Villiers played seven matches in PSL 2019 before a back injury ruled him out of the tournament. In those seven outings he scored 218 runs at a stunning average of 54.5 and strike rate of 129.
The 12-member team includes five foreign players and seven locals as per event regulations.
“It has been a massive responsibility to select a team comprising 12 players from a world-class event that produced a high number of quality individual performances," said Nazar.
“We decided to select players who can form a combination that was capable of defeating any franchise side in the world in any given conditions. I don’t think anyone will disagree that this is the best winning combination from the large pool of top performing players.”
Apart from de Villiers, the line-up also includes four players from Peshawar Zalmi (Kamran Akmal, Kieron Pollard, Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz), three from Karachi Kings (Babar Azam, Colin Ingram and Umer Khan), two players from Islamabad United (Asif Ali and Faheem Ashraf) but surprisingly, just a single representative from the champions Quetta Gladiators (Shane Watson).
De Villiers’ Qalandars teammate Sandeep Lamichhane has been chosen as the 12th player.
Post-event honourary teams around the world usually feature a plethora of players from eventual winners or sides that go deep. The PSL rendition, however, seems a departure from the norm.
Team of HBL PSL 2019:
1- Quetta Gladiators' Shane Watson (430 runs, avg 43, strike-rate 143.80
2- Peshawar Zalmi's Kamran Akmal (357 runs, avg 27.4, strike-rate 137.8, 9 dismissals)
3- Karachi Kings's Babar Azam (335 runs, 30.34 avg, 115.5 strike-rate)
4- Lahore Qalandars' AB de Villiers (218 runs, 54.5 avg, strike-rate 129)
5- Karachi Kings' Colin Ingram (344 runs, 34.40 avg, 164.5 strike-rate)
6- Islamabad United's Asif Ali (281 runs, 35.12 avg, 182.46 strike-rate)
7- Peshawar Zalmi's Kieron Pollard (284 runs, avg 28.4, strike-rate 173; 5 wickets, 45.8 avge, eco. 7.89)
8- Islamabad United's Faheem Ashraf (21 wickets, avg. 15.33, eco. 7.29)
9- Peshawar Zalmi's Wahab Riaz (17 wickets, 19.88 avg, eco. 6.78)
10- Peshawar Zalmi's Hasan Ali (25 wickets, 13.64 avg, eco. 6.77)
11- Karachi Kings' Umer Khan (15 wickets, 16.13 avg, eco.7.11)
12- Lahore Qalandars' Sandeep Lamichhane (11 wickets, 17.18 avg, eco. 7.66)