GeneralPSL 9: Lahore Qalandars Preview

PSL 9: Lahore Qalandars Preview


After two consecutive title wins, Lahore Qalandars has a mostly settled look. The squad contains most of the familiar faces that people are used to seeing in the dugout. Aaqib Javed (director/head coach) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (captain) reprise their respective roles, while the team’s core remains the same. There are a few new inductees, however, and most crucially, the Qalandars will not have the services of Rashid Khan this season after the star Afghan spinner underwent surgery for a persistent lower back problem. Lahore will begin their quest for a hat-trick of titles at home, and home games are 5 of their first 6 fixtures. After that, they move to Pindi and then Karachi for the back end of the tournament.



  • Shaheen Shah Afridi
  • Fakhar Zaman
  • Haris Rauf
  • Sahibzada Farhan
  • Abdullah Shafique
  • Zaman Khan
  • Mirza Tahir Baig
  • Mohammad Imran Jr
  • Ahsan Bhatti
  • Kamran Ghulam
  • Tayyab Abbas
  • Salman Fayyaz


  • Rassie van der Dussen
  • David Wiese
  • Sikandar Raza
  • Dan Lawrence
  • Shai Hope
  • Bhanuka Rajapaksa
  • Lorcan Tucker


  • Jahandad Khan
  • Syed Faridoun


Lahore Qalandars’ top order has some familiar faces, with Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, and Tahir Baig all featuring in the squad once again. Sahibzada Farhan has been drafted after stellar performances in the National T20, Kamran Ghulam returns, and recruits Rassie van der Dussen, Shai Hope, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Dan Lawrence (partial availability) all arguably prefer batting at the top too, making for a rather stacked top-order.

With all the recruits for the top order, Lahore’s middle order looks a bit thin. Hope or van der Dussen may be required to bat at number 4, while Lawrence also offers an option when he’s available. Rajapaksa has found occasional success at number 5 and could be deployed there, while the returning Sikandar Raza and David Wiese are all likely to be vital cogs in the lower middle order. Ahsan Bhatti provides all-round utility. Another late signing is wicket-keeper batsman Lorcan Tucker to cover for Shai Hope.

The identity of the Qalandars has often revolved around their fast-bowling stocks, and once again, they have plenty of quality in that department. Captain Shaheen Shah Afridi will be supported by stalwarts Haris Rauf and Zaman Khan, while Lahore have recruited backup in the form of left-arm pacers Jahandad Khan (emerging) and Mohammad Imran Jr, assisted by the right-arm slingy pace of Tayyab Abbas.

In the absence of Rashid Khan, Lahore’s spin-bowling options are thin. The only specialist spinner in the squad is the emerging left-arm wrist spinner Syed Faridoun. Left-hand batter and right-arm leg spinner Salman Fayyaz is a late addition to the squad as a partial replacement for Rajapaksa. Sikandar Raza may be required to take up the burden of a front-line spinner this season. Kamran Ghulam and Ahsan Bhatti offer part-time left-arm spin options.


As always, Lahore’s fast-bowling stocks are likely the best in the league. They have a plethora of variety with their pacers, including multiple right-arm and left-arm pace options, hit-the-deck options, and even canny medium-pace options such as Wiese – quality and depth. In the absence of a front-line spinner, their pace attack will need to take on even more of a burden. The Qalandars will hope that the likes of Shaheen and Rauf rediscover their form and are at their best.

With their fast-bowling stocks, the Qalandars have all-phase coverage. Shaheen for the powerplay, Rauf for the enforcer/death role, and Zaman as a death specialist. Imran Jr has also had some success with the powerplay recently while Jahandad can swing the ball; Wiese provides utility with the ball and excelled last season, while Tayyab offers another slingy pace option.

Lahore also have a stacked top order and could go with a local top 3 once again. Farhan’s attacking approach in the powerplay could be a perfect complement to Fakhar’s style, allowing him to play his natural game, while Abdullah has found plenty of success at number 3 for the Qalandars.


On paper, Lahore’s middle order lacks quality. They will be hoping for one of their overseas recruits to step up in a role they may not be entirely familiar with. Hope has been touted as a potential number 4 for them, having batted once there last year for Lahore (and doing well). He has since also batted in the middle order for West Indies but is more accustomed to batting at 3. His numbers against spin (62/146) since 2023 are impressive, though. Van der Dussen, a Platinum pick at the draft, could be required to bat at 5 – he has rarely batted outside the top 4 in T20 cricket.

Any team would be weakened by the loss of one of the world’s best players, and Lahore Qalandars have a Rashid Khan-shaped hole in their lineup. They haven’t opted for another front-line spinner and may fill that spot with either of the emerging options. Last year, Shaheen wasn’t always at his best with the new ball, but Rashid would inevitably pull back the game in the middle overs, as he did in the final when Multan appeared to be coasting. His not being there certainly puts pressure on the rest of the bowlers to deliver.

Team Composition

Possible Starting XI

  • Fakhar Zaman
  • Sahibzada Farhan
  • Abdullah Shafique
  • Shai Hope ✈️🧤
  • Rassie van der Dussen ✈️
  • Sikandar Raza ✈️
  • David Wiese ✈️
  • Jahandad Khan 🧒🏽
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi 🧢
  • Haris Rauf
  • Zaman Khan

The lack of viable middle-order local options means that Lahore will almost certainly go with their local top 3. If Farhan carries over his form and can effectively attack in the powerplay, that will free up Fakhar to bat deeper and take on spin once set, and with Abdullah at 3, this looks like a good combination. However, if Fakhar falls early and Lahore don’t opt to start with Rajapaksa, they will have a line of RHBs one after another, among them some who may not be entirely comfortable with the middle-order role.

The lack of a local keeping option means that the Qalandars are somewhat inflexible in terms of combinations. Rajapaksa has kept in a handful of T20s, while Farhan has been spotted with the gloves in training sessions. But Hope (and his partial replacement Tucker) remain the only specialist keepers, while Raza and Wiese are likely to be nailed-on starters. That leaves room for only one other foreign player. Meanwhile, Raza may miss the first match, with his team having qualified for the ILT20 final, which takes place on the opening day of the PSL. On the bright side, Jahandad has shown some very impressive ball-striking ability in the domestic season and, along with Shaheen, offers crucial batting depth.

As for the bowling lineup, the Qalandars’ first choice will be Shaheen, Rauf, and Zaman, complemented by Raza, with Wiese and Jahandad potentially handling the 5th bowling option. With none of their other batsmen viable part-timers, Lahore are unlikely to field a 5-man attack, especially when they are obliged to play an emerging bowler. However, Faridoun could come into the picture on spin-friendly tracks.

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