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The Kashmir Premier League (KPL) was initiated in 2021 and it was a big success despite the controversies it had to face even before it began. It was a promising start and many fans enjoyed the inaugural edition. Now we come to KPL 2022, the second edition with a lot to see. We will also look into the most popular team Muzaffarabad Tigers.
In this article you would read about the expectations from KPL 2022 and the performances of teams in the previous season.
How did the first season go?
Kashmir’s very own league was announced in December 2020 by the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir, Shehryar Khan Afridi. The league was accredited by the Pakistan Cricket Board, the Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and the Government of Punjab. It was scheduled to start in May 2021 but the PCB decided to push it to August 2021.
The tournament consisted of six teams and it ran from August 6 to August 17. But even before the competition began, there were some controversies regarding the league itself. It mainly came from the Indian cricket board, the BCCI. They were very vocal about the introduction of the league and stated that those foreigners who will take part in KPL will not do any work with BCCI in the future.
The BCCI went as far as taking it to the main governing body of cricket, the ICC. However, it backfired as the ICC stated that the Kashmir league is a “private league” and has not been recognized as an international tournament.
Despite all of this, the tournament went smoothly and was watched by over 70 million people just on digital platforms, making the first season a great success.
Here are the viewership stats of KPL 2021
Muzaffarabad Tigers in KPL Season 1
Green Team partnered with the Muzaffarabad Tigers as its official social media partner for the KPL 2021. Our team covered the matches on social media for updates. It was an honor to be representing the Muzaffarabad Tigers in the second edition as well.
As for the journey of the Tigers, they ended up as the runners-up of the competition. The league stage saw the team end up second in the table. Out of five-game, Muzaffarabad won three and lost two. They defeated Overseas Warriors, Kotli Lions, and Bagh Stallions while losing to Rawalakot and Mirpur Royals.
They had six points and were tied with Mirpur Royals, who also had six points. But due to superior NRR, the Tigers were placed second and played the Qualifier match. Eventually, they defeated the Hawks in the game by 7 runs to qualify for the Final.
In the final, once again with the Hawks, they could not win the match. In fact, it came down as the most unbelievable loss in a T20 match. Muzaffarabad needed 10 in the last over. Left-arm spinner Asif Afridi bowled the final over for the Hawks. What followed was a stunning display of spin bowling.
A run was followed by a wicket, then a dot ball, then a stumping wicket, and again a wicket before the last ball was only taken one run (amid a drop chance).
Asif Afridi gave Rawalakot Hawks their first KPL victory and was the player of the final. Hussain Talat was the player in the competition.
Teams in KPL 2021
Six teams participated in the league. The tournament was played in a single round-robin – unlike the usual double round-robin – and a playoffs stage.
The following table shows the team name, captained by, and their final positions in the first edition.
|Teams||Led By||Position in 2021|
|Rawalakot Hawks||Shahid Afridi||Champions|
|Muzaffarabad Tigers||Mohammad Hafeez||Runners-up|
|Mirpur Royals||Shoaib Malik||Playoffs, 3rd|
|Overseas Warriors||Imad Wasim||Playoffs, 4th|
|Bagh Stallions||Shan Masood||5th|
|Kotli Lions||Kamran Akmal||6th|
The tournament was won by Rawalakot Hawks under Shahid Afridi, who is also the Brand Ambassador of the league. The team topped the league stage. Muzzafarabad Tigers and Mirpur Royals were tied with six points but the Tigers had a superior Net Run Rate, hence they played the Qualifier stage.
Overseas Warriors and Bagh Stallions tied with 4 points. But the Warriors had better NRR and took the final spot to seal the playoffs. Bagh Stallions and Kotli Lions failed to progress. They will be hoping to do well this time.
Playoffs of KPL 2021
Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot played the Qualifier. It was a thrilling game where the Tigers won closely by 7 runs to advance to the final.
The first Eliminator saw Mirpur comfortably chase down Overseas Warriors’ target of 161 by six wickets and an over to spare.
In the second Eliminator, it was a high-scoring thriller between Rawalakot and Mirpur. Mirpur put on 236 on the back of Shajeel Khan’s 141. But Rawalakot’s Kashif Bhatti scored his own century, a fabulous unbeaten 114 to guide his side to 4 wickets win.
The final was the repeat of the Qualifier. Even the result were the same. However, this time Muzaffarabad were on the receiving end. They lost the final to Rawalakot by 7 runs.
With a lot of thrillers and exciting games, all of us cannot wait for the second season of the Kashmir Premier League to begin soon.
What to expect in Season 2?
The existing 6 franchises including Muzaffarabad Tigers and a new franchise “Jammu Janbaz” will feature in the 2nd season of the Kashmir Premier League. It will be played on the home ground of the Tigers of KPL the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir: Muzaffarabad.
The league will kick off on the 11th of August and the final will be played on the 25th of August, 2022. The brand ambassador of KPL Shahid Khan Afridi is excited about the second season. Here is what he has to say about the league:
The draft of Season 2 is expected to take place in the later half of the month of July 2022. Each team will be asked to retain 5 players including one Kashmiri-origin player. Green Team wishes Muzaffarabad Tigers the very best for the second season of Kashmir Premier League.