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KPL 2021 ended on August 17 after Rawalakot Hawks snatched a close victory of 8 runs from the home side of the final, Muzaffarabad Tigers. Green Team puts together the best XI from the six-sided competition in the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan, using minimum of 2 Kashmiri players in the XI. Green Team’s KPL 2021 team of the tournament is picked by a jury of our senior writers.
1. Sharjeel Khan – Mirpur Royals
Sharjeel Khan remained the highest scorer of the KPL 2021. He began his season with a match-winning-34-ball-57 against Bagh Stallions. He followed it up with another good knock of 35-off-19 against Overseas Warriors and helped his side post 236 on the board in the eliminator 2. His performances helped Mirpur Royals make a come back in the tournament. Royals’opener ended the tournament as the highest run-getter and smashed most number of sixes. (20)
2. Zeeshan Ashraf – Muzaffarabad Tigers
With the second most number of sixes and scores to his name, Zeeshan had a frustrating start in the tournament but scored a brilliant inning in his second game. He followed it up with an outstanding 62-ball-107 against Kotli Lions. In a high-scoring competition against Mirpur Royals, he helped his skipper score a century by his quick 49 at the top of the order. He was taking the game away from Rawalakot Hawks before Shahid Afridi bowled him in the final.
3. Shoaib Malik – Mirpur Royals
Captain of Mirpur Royals, Shoaib Malik, showcased his form and temperament in the very first match of the tournament where his side was up against Rawalakot Hawks. In a game where Royals’ batsmen were disappointed in a high-scoring competition, Malik stood tall and proud with his 51-ball-77 against Hawks. As his team lost despite his contribution, the story remained so for the major part of the tournament as Royals lost despite posting 236 in eliminator 2.
Malik contributed in almost every game and played responsible innings as the anchor batsman of the team.
4. Kashif Ali – Rawalakot Hawks
The find of the KPL 2021 is Kashif Ali who remained the 4th highest run-getter in the tournament. He made headlines after Rawalakot Hawks chased Royals’ 237 runs target in eliminator 2 where Kaahif played an unbeaten inning of 114 off 51 balls with 9 fours and 8 sixes. His 29-ball-54 against Muzaffarabad Tigers in the final of KPL 2021 helped Rawalakot post 169 on the board in the final.
He is a technically sound modern batsman, plays cricket for Essex’s second XI. His performance in KPL will help him earn a spot in PSL that may lead to his cap for the green shirts.
5. Hussain Talat – Rawalakot Hawks
Hussain Talat started his tournament fantastically as he remained not out in his all three initial outings, scored 69* in one of those. He followed it up with two half-centuries on the trot in the next two games. He brought stability and modernity in the batting line-up of the Champions of KPL 2021, Rawalakot Hawks.
Due to his brilliant display of all-round performances and skills, Hussain Talat was named as the player of KPL 2021 and he plays at no.5 in Green Team’s KPL 2021 team of the tournament.
6. Amir Yamin – Bagh Stallions
In KPL 2021, Amir Yamin showed that he can be the X-factor with the bat, Pakistan is desperately looking for at no.6. After remaining unbeaten twice in the tournament, he averaged 56 with the bat and smashed 9 maximums in 5 innings. He remained very economical as a bowler and took 6 wickets as well. Anyone who averages above 50 as a batsman and bowls with an economy of 7.94, must be there in the best XI of every tournament.
7. Shahid Afridi (c) – Rawalakot Hawks
Despite remaining unsuccessful in appearing as the “Boom Boom” with the bat, Afridi remained a handy bowler in KPL 2021 and showed his presence in the final against Muzaffarabad Tigers where he sent their best players back towards the pavilion and made the world realize that Shahid Afridi still exists. His best figure of 2/27 came against the Royals in the first game while he got 2 for 32 in the final.
As a captain, he remained the most charismatic skipper and youngsters of Rawalakot Hawks enjoyed the presence of the world’s best all-rounder among themselves. Therefore, he is the captain of Green Team’s KPL 2021 team of the tournament.
8. Mohammad Wasim Jr. – Muzaffarabad Tigers
Wasim Jr. was appreciated for his pace with the ball and brilliant knocks at the back end as a lower-order batsman. Despite remaining the only bowler to take a hat-trick in KPL 2021, he averaged high with the ball. The reason he makes it into the KPL 2021 team of the tournament is his brilliant display with the bat that makes him a brilliant prospect for the national team for the T20 World Cup 2021 as an allrounder.
9. Asif Afridi – Rawalakot Hawks
Suppose you have a left-arm orthodox spinner in your side whom you can send to play the last over as a batsman as well as you can trust him to defend 9 in the last over. And suppose he leaks just 1 run for 3 wickets in the final of a tournament like KPL? Welcome to the world full of magic and charisma of Asif Afridi.
Asif remained a handy spinner who could bat as well in the death overs to score some quick runs. His best performance came in the final of KPL 2021 against Muzaffarabad Tigers where he successfully defended 9 runs in the final over and got the figure of 3/21.
10. Salman Irshad – Mirpur Royals
Salman Irshad was being called the find of Lahore Qalandars when he represented them for the first time in 2018 but failed to impress at the bigger level. While representing Mirpur Royals, he has ended his campaign as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament and it should give him a lot of confidence. Despite of his brilliant spells, the Royals remained unsuccessful in the long run but experts appreciated 25 years old’s energy and dedication towards the game.
11. Zaman Khan – Rawalakot Hawks
Zaman Khan is an energetic, fast, and young pacer of Mirpur. He is just 19 years old and he caught everyone’s attention in his first game of KPL 2021 where he bowled a decent spell of 3/27 against Mirpur Royals. In his next game against Bagh Stallions, he got 3 scalps for just 18 runs.
He made headlines after he bowled an extremely economical spell in a high-scoring game against Mirpur Royals where the opposition posted 236 on the board in 20 overs but Zaman Khan gave just 18 runs in 4 overs. Other than Kashif Ali’s emergence and a brilliant show of Salman Irshad, he is another find of KPL 2021.
12. Shan Masood – Bagh Stallions
There were a lot of names on the list to make the player no.12 of Green Team’s KPL 2021 team of the tournament but because of his good performance with the bat, despite leading an unsuccessful KPL side, Bagh Stallions, Shan Masood is our no.12.
Players who were in the line but couldn’t make it into the KPL 2021 team of the tournament, read; Ammad Butt (11 wickets, 19.54 ave, and 13.6 SR), Sohail Tanvir (8 wickets, 16.6 SR, and 61 runs), and Mohammad Akhlaq (211 runs, 30 ave, and 166 SR).