Squad Review: How strong are Muzaffarabad Tigers?

Introduction of KPL

What is the Kashmir Premier League? It is a tournament that focuses on highlighting the cause of Kashmir and giving the local Kashmiri players a platform to showcase their talents. The t20 cricketing event is set to be played in the heavenly stadium of Muzaffarabad. The inaugural season is going to kick start from 6th August and will reach its end on 17th August. The league includes six teams representing notable cities: Muzaffarabad Tigers, Mirpur Royals, Rawalakot Hawks, Kotli Lions, Overseas Warriors, and Bagh Stallions.

The draft ceremony was held on 3rd July 2021; each team made sure to pick the best players in order to make a balanced squad. Keeping up with the motive behind the whole venture, numerous Kashmiri players were selected and will be representing different teams. 

Introduction of Muzaffarabad Tigers 

Muzaffarabad Tigers is owned by Arshad Khan Tanoli, it is one of the six teams participating. It’s turning out to be one of the most famous teams due to its active social media presence. The team has joined hands with Express news, Pro-Pakistani, Green Team, Zubair Builders, Paradigm Pakistan, PIA, Bonanza Satrangi, SCO, and few other brands. 

The leader’s Achievements:

The team will be led by Mohammad Hafeez, who stands in the icon category. His career batting stats include 2423 runs with an average of 26.6 and a strike rate of 121. His career bowling stats include 59 wickets with an economy of 6.59. It’s not the first time Hafeez has been given the responsibility of captaincy. He has captained the national cricket team, which means his experience will surely count a lot. The professor was phenomenal in the last few international series and was quite decent in the PSL too. 

Names and Categories of Renowned Players  

Tillakaratne Dilshan, who belongs to Sri Lanka, is the international pick. Sohail Tanvir is the platinum pick, while Sohaib Maqsood and Wasim Jr are the diamond picks. Arshad Iqbal, Zeeshan Ashraf belongs to the gold category, while Sohail Akhtar, Usama Mir, Anwar Ali belong to the silver category.

Until now, we have seen both well-known players and players who have performed well either at the domestic or league level. 

The Team Popular Players’ Achievements 

Sohaib Maqsood looks dangerous with his regained form. Sohail Tanvir can prove to be both; a power hitter at times and a handy bowler. Anwar Ali has the guts to hit the bowl out of the stadium and also bowl decent spells. Sohail Akhtar can complement Mohammad Hafeez as they both have been in Lahore Qalandars for some years. Usama Mir, Zeeshan Ashraf, and Arshad Iqbal are bowlers who can both take wickets and also keep the economy in check.

The Emerging Players

The following seven players in the squad are not very well known, but it doesn’t mean they don’t have any achievements in their cricket record. Muzaffarabad Tigers have selected multiple players from Azad Jammu Kashmir and some from other parts of Pakistan. 

Inzamam ul Haq, Muhammad Nisar, Usman Yousuf, Arslan Arif belong to Azad Jammu & Kashmir, while Usman Arshad is an overseas Kashmir from Bradford. Taimoor Sultan is from Sargodha and plays for the Northern side in the Quaid e Azam Trophy. Tahir Hussain, who is just 18 years old, has the honor of playing for numerous under 19s teams, and domestic cricket teams. 

Some of the notable names from here are Muhammad Nisar and Usman Arshad. The first one has the record of scoring a double century in club cricket while the latter one plays county cricket in England. The right-arm fast-medium bowler has taken 45 wickets in 46 matches with an economy of 8.65.

Batting Strengths 

Muzaffarabad Tigers squad looks quite strong on paper. They have both calm, experienced, and stable players like Dilshan, Hafeez, and Akhtar. On the other hand, they also have batsmen like Anwar Ali, Sohail Tanvir, and Sohaib Maqsood, who can smash the bowl when needed and add hefty runs on the scoreboard. Their batting could go down to 6/7 number. They have various players who can do both the role of a bowler and batters. This will result in advantage as they can try different team combinations.

Bowling Strengths 

Coming to the bowling, they have both spinners and pacers. Bowlers like Usama Mir, Arshad Iqbal, Sohail Tanvir can take wickets at the right time, while bowlers like Mohammad Hafeez can trap the opponents. 

The Squad of Muzaffarabad Tigers

  1. Mohammad Hafeez (C)
  2. TM Dilshan
  3. Sohail Tanveer
  4. Sohaib Maqsood
  5. Mohammad Wasim Jr
  6. Arshad iqbal
  7. Zeeshan Ashraf
  8. Sohail Akhtar
  9. Usama Mir
  10. Anwar Ali
  11. Arsalan Arif (K)
  12. Tahir Hussain
  13. Inzamam ul Haq (K)
  14. Usman Arshad (K)
  15. Taimoor Sultan
  16. M Nisar Malik (K)
  17. Usman Yousaf (K)

Overall review

To conclude, the squad seems balanced and well selected and includes players of different calibers and strengths. The team combination looks strong; however, the role of emerging players will play a big role in the overall success of the team.

We wish them the best of luck for the Kashmir Premier League. 

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