Five Seasons of PSL: How Captains Have Fared
Since the Pakistan Super League’s inception in 2016, we have witnessed some mind-blowing talent from the players, especially their ever-improving captaincy skills.
In PSL 1, Misbah-ul-Haq outshone every other captain as he led Islamabad United to victory in the final against Quetta Gladiators. Interestingly, he managed to repeat this feat in PSL 3 against Peshawar Zalmi. To this day, he remains the only captain to lead a team to two PSL titles. Misbah-ul-Haq has led Islamabad United in 26 matches, winning 16 games for a win percentage of 61.54%. This is the best percentage for any captain who has led in more than 11 games in PSL history.
PSL 2 proved to be fortunate for the Peshawar Zalmi captain Darren Sammy as he triumphed over Sarfaraz Ahmed’s Quetta Gladiators in the final. Sammy is one of the top 3 PSL captains of all time. He has captained in 2nd most matches (39) in PSL history and has won 22 of those games. That gives him a win percentage of 57.89%. Not only did Sammy lead Peshawar Zalmi to victory in PSL 2, but they also finished as runners-up in the upcoming 2 PSL seasons, which shows how good of a leader he is.
PSL 4 finally brought some luck and fortune to Sarfaraz Ahmed. After finishing runners-up two times in the previous three editions, Quetta Gladiators defeated Darren Sammy’s Peshawar Zalmi in the final. Hence, we must not ignore Sarfaraz Ahmed’s brilliance when we talk about the best PSL captains. Sarfaraz is the only captain who has captained in all five editions of the tournament. His longevity as Quetta’s captain is evident by his stellar record. In 52 matches as captain, Sarfaraz has won 30 at an astonishing win percentage of 58.82. That is second only to Misbah-ul-Haq amongst captains who have lead in more than 11 games.
PSL 5, an edition of PSL occurring in 2020 (pun intended), showed its true colors as the teams that used always to dominate the finals were all knocked out. That left the honors up for grabs for Imad Wasim’s Karachi Kings and Sohail Akhtar’s Lahore Qalandars (both of whom had never played a PSL final before). Imad Wasim proved to be the better captain and eventually lead Karachi Kings to their maiden PSL title. The all-rounder has been leading Karachi Kings since 2018 and has only improved with time. In 30 matches as captain, Imad has won 16 for a win percentage of 57.14%, which in my opinion is a fairly good captaincy record.
If there had to be a ‘best PSL captain,’ I won’t be ready to take this headache! You have Sarfaraz Ahmed and Darren Sammy, who have both captained in more than 35 matches and have an almost similar win percentage. Moreover, each of them has led their teams to 3 finals, and both have only managed to win 1. The only edge that Sammy has is that he has done all of this in just four seasons compared to Sarfaraz’s five. Last but not least, you have Misbah-ul-Haq, who has been victorious in two out of the three PSL finals he has captained Islamabad in. So it’s safe to say that if we hand over an all-time PSL 11 to any one of these three men, the team would undoubtedly be in safe hands!