Preview of Karachi Kings' 2019 campaign as they look to put past disappointments behind them and win the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League.
By Arsalan Pro (9th February, 2019)
Karachi Kings is renowned for being the most popular franchise and has arguably the largest fan base for any PSL team. However, they haven't lived up to the expectations of their fans in previous and will be looking to change that this time around.
A franchise that has formally been full of superstars, flamboyant athletes and pure entertainers of the T20 format for the first three seasons has now opted for a change in personnel, in the hope that this will bring difference in their fortunes. They have dropped quality players like Chris Gayle, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kumar Sangakarra and Kieron Pollard over the course of their PSL journey, but are yet to taste any success in terms of winning the league.
However, one positive in their campaigns is the improvement in their league position each year; from being the second last in PSL 1 and winning only 2 matches, they became the third-best side in PSL 2 and second-best last year in PSL 3, though they eventually finished third after the playoffs.
One thing that hasn't changed is their captain, who remains Imad Wasim. PSL 2019 will be the first time they will have a skipper that has captained them previously, and under this settled, energetic and inspirational leader, they will be looking to go deep in this tournament. Along with Islamabad United, they are the team that has kept the most players through retentions prior to the draft, which is a good sign of players gelling well with each other and being up to the mark individually.
Another thing that has been reasonably consistent with most teams and also Karachi has been their coaching staff, but what is different is that they have Pakistan's Head Coach Mickey Arthur working with them, which should be pivotal to their success. His experience for the past 3 years with the national team and Karachi Kings will be valuable for players in tough situations.
Having two superstars of Pakistan in Mohammad Amir and Babar Azam, who are also their highest wicket-taker and highest run-scorer respectively, will be good for Karachi and they can expect some star-studded performances from these two along their road to glory.