PSL 9: Three reasons why Lahore Qalandars have struggled this season

The defending champions have lost six matches in a row

By Web Desk
February 28, 2024
Lahore Qalandars have lost six matches in a row in the PSL 9. — PSL

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9 is going nowhere near great for defending champions Lahore Qalandars as Shaheen Afridi’s men are yet to taste victory after six matches. 

Despite playing most of their encounters at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, in front of the home crowd, the Qalandars have failed to give any note-worthy performance in the ninth edition of PSL and they are now on the verge of exiting the event before the playoffs.

From winning back-to-back tournaments to being outclassed by almost every team, what has gone wrong for the Qalandars? We look at three key reasons behind Lahore’s underwhelming performance this season.

1. Absence of Rashid Khan:

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan is one of the most dominant bowlers in T20 cricket and it was evident that the Qalandars would greatly miss his magic with the ball in the middle overs. Over the last two editions which Lahore won, the 25-year-old took 31 wickets in 19 matches at an economy rate of 5.46 and 6.53 in PSL 7 and 8 respectively. 

Rashid was not only taking wickets, but he was also very economical with the ball and was stopping the flow of runs. Without the Afghanistan star, Lahore are struggling greatly as they don’t have a T20 specialist spinner in their squad.

2. Changes in batting order

While the top three batters — Sahibzada Farhan, Fakhar Zaman and Rassie van der Dussen — of Lahore have remained the same, there have been multiple changes down the order which didn’t help the defending champions find stability. 

In their first two matches, Abdullah Shafique played at number four, he was then replaced by Sikandar Raza, who played one match in that position.

Ahsan Hafeez took the role of no. 4 in their fourth match, Shai Hope in fifth and Kamran Ghulam in their latest one against Multan Sultans. The changes prove that the Qalandars are not being able to strike the right combination and they are now running out of time.

3. Under-performing bowling attack

Lahore have always had the best bowling attack in the PSL, especially in the last two editions as they not only managed to dominate opponents with the bat but also with the ball. 

Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Zaman Khan, Rashid Khan, and Sikandar Raza formed one of the most diverse bowling attacks in the league.

However, in PSL 9, Lahore failed to all out their opponents once and the most wickets they have picked in a match was 8 against Karachi Kings. 

Rauf only bagged two wickets in four matches he played before getting injured, meanwhile Zaman is another under-performer with six scalps in as many matches. Shaheen is the bowler with the most wickets (9) for Lahore.