Multan Sultans – 10 Reasons to Support The Underdogs of PSL
Multan Sultans (aka Janoobis) made a late entry in the third edition Pakistan Super League as the sixth and most expensive team of the Tournament. They had a promising start to their inaugural tournament winning 4 out of the first 6 matches (one being washed out). Multan Sultans were on a roll till mid way stage with Kumar Sangakara and Imran Tahir respectively being Leading Run-Scorer and Leading Wicket-Taker along with 2 Hattricks to their Name. The Fate of the franchise Changed in their seventh match where they lost a close encounter to Quetta Gladiator by 2 wickets with 2 balls to spare and since then it’s been a sad journey for Multan Sultans in Pakistan Super League.
Multan Sultans actually went into PSL 4 draft by the name of “The Sixth Team” because the Multan Sultans management (Schon Group) and Pakistan Cricket Board had a disagreement and the ownership rights were reverted by PCB. PCB went into the draft on the behalf of the Sixth team and did the “Player Picks” including the management as well. The Team was later bought by Ali Khan Tareen who decided to pursue the team name “Multan Sultans” but changed the team Slogan to “Janoob kee Pehchan”. Season 4 was a misfire for Sultans and despite some Big names like Malik, Russell, and Afridi ended up at the fifth rank. Rumors and Speculations regarding captain Shoaib Malik Single-handedly dictating the team made the scenario even worse for Janoobis
The stage is set up for Pakistan Super League Season five, people are more excited as PSL is entirely coming Home, which means all the matches will be played in Pakistan. The four venues Include Karachi Lahore Rawalpindi and Multan. Fans are eager to see their national and international Heroes playing right in front of them. Multan Sultans who represent the land of Sufis the South Punjab region of Pakistan is lucky to have 3 Home Matches in Multan Cricket Stadium. Playing in front of Home Crowd will really Boast their Game
The COOL Captain:
Multan Sultans have put in a lot of effort in Picking their team, we might not see Superstars or Poster boys in the Squad but they have a balanced squad that can challenge any opposition. Shan Masood will lead the team, known for his cool calm and elegant stroke making is coming into PSL with consecutive test centuries. The hard hitter James Vince will open the innings alongside Shan and he was already shown what he is capable of in the previous edition. They both make a great opening pair for the Sultans.
Multan Sultans have been smart in their International picks which Include players like Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Rilee Rossouw, Imran Tahir, James Vince. We all know what Bopara Rossouw and Ali bring to the table. Bopara and Rossouw are experienced T20 players and they have been associated with PSL since it started in 2016. They have played with different franchises of PSL and will help big time in making game plans. Bopara and Rilee together will hold the middle order of Janoobis.
Moeen Ali is Multan Sultans Platinum pick and he rightly deserves to be placed there; he’ll enter the tournament in red hot form after playing some excellent cricket in South Africa. There is no chance Multan Sultan can be crowned Champions until n unless Moeen Ali performs to his potential. Moeen has an impressive Career record being the third Highest wicket-taker as an English Spin bowler. He can rotate the strike, has the ability to go Big and Play some lofted shots. Multan Sultans will look to him as a bowler who can provide breakthroughs in the middle overs and Finish the game-high with his batting
Multan Sultans (The Janoobis) Strength:
Multan Sultans will be relying mostly on bowling because they have a great bowling attack. A perfect combination of Spin and fast Bowling Afridi, Imran Tahir Moeen Ali along with Usman Qadir will lead the spin department. The gigantic Muhammad Irfan, T20 specialist Sohail Tanvir, Pacer Junaid Khan will provide the firepower with Fast bowling.
Pakistan Under19 wicket-keeper Captain Rohail Nazir along with Muhammad Illyas is Multan sultans emerging players. Rohail is coming into this tournament after a successful individual world cup with the bat n gloves. Zeeshan Ashraf another wicket-keeper batsman who was picked by Wild Card in the Draft explains how much he means to Multan Sultans. Khushdil Shah, Bilawal Bhatti, and Fabian Allen are some handy all-rounders included in the Squad
The X factor:
Shahid Khan Afridi himself is a Brand and Multan Sultans are lucky to have a player like him in their dugout. Afridi still has an immense amount of cricket left behind in him even at the age of 39 the blood pumping in his vessels is of a young teenager who is never shy to take risks. Nobody is familiar with this format other than Afridi because he has been in this Fashion since 1996. Afridi has always considered himself as a genuine Leg spinner but most of teams consider him a serious threat to their bowling line up. There is only one-way traffic for Afridi and that’s the Ariel route he chooses every time he arrives at the crease. People across the globe from kids to oldies love Afridi for his explosive hitting, A major reason why many people will rush to stadiums and cheer for Multan Sultans is none other than “BOOM BOOM” Afridi
If we look at Franchise cricket deeply and see the Successful teams in the cricketing circle its not the players but the management as well who play a vital role in making champions. It’s a duty of a mentor to polish a player into a Champion. Multan Sultans haven’t taken the Coaching department lightly their coaching Staff comprises of Andy Flower (Head Coach) Mushtaq Ahmad (Spin Coach) Azhar Mehmood (Bowling Coach). All three of them belong to the elite Panel of Players and Coaching. They carry a great number of trophies in their CV’s. They have hired Three Video Analysts who will support the coaching Staff with the ball to ball analysis which ultimately will help to make a perfect game plan for the season.
A Dream Team Leader – Ali Tareen:
I think Ali-Tareen is the most dynamic and visionary owner of all PSL Teams. He has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve with Janoobis and he is taking them in the right direction. In his tweets, he praises good performances of the opposition team and always comments positively.
I have met him personally in ICC academy, he was very down to earth and absolutely Gem of a guy! Here is the evidence with my kids!
The Team owner Ali Khan Tareen speaks highly of the team management and the efforts they put in to build and pick the team. Ali is quite confident and believes this year PSL trophy will land in Sultans’s hands. He states that the last year we inherited the team, management, the game plan n strategies and we didn’t have much time to change it. Talking about Players roles he was of an opinion that everyone is allowed to play their natural game and express themselves freely because this is how you bring the best out of any player
Cricket is by chance and in T20 format all a team needs to do is to win two or three matches to bring momentum and rhythm into the tournament. Multan sultan will have a point to prove this season they have nothing to lose. Given their performances in recent seasons people are not expecting much out of them and paparazzies have already written them off. They won’t face the pressure of being favorites as compared to other franchises like Lahore and Karachi. If they managed to win the first couple of games the underdogs of Pakistan Super League have a great chance to be Crowned Champions
Dream Multan Sultan Team:
The Full Multan Sultan Team you can look here.
Their Ideal Combination would be
- Shan Masood
- James Vince
- Rilee Rossouw/
- Zeeshan Ashraf (wicket-keeper)
- Moeen Ali
- Shahid Afridi
- Bilawal Bhatti/Khushdil Shah
- Sohail Tanvir
- Muhammad Irfan
- Muhammad Illyas
- Imran Tahir
You can Follow Multan Sultan on their Twitter handle @MultanSultans
As they have topped the table of PSL and few hours later they will be playing semi-final, my money is on Janoobis to go and win the Title!