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Most Successful Captains in PSL History

The dream of having Pakistan’s own trademark cricket league was finally fulfilled in 2015 when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to construct five teams for an event that was to be called the PSL(Pakistan Super League). The first season was played in 2016, and ever since that, the league has gotten only bigger and better. Currently, the seventh season is underway

To say that the league helped bring out the finest talent from the most cornered areas of Pakistan would be an understatement. Pakistan Super League has acted as the launching pad for so many national and international cricketers. Not only this but the already present players got to hone their skills, especially the art of leading from the front. Some of the players who successfully commanded their teams to win most matches or to guide them to the finals are discussed in this article.

Top 5 Most Successful Captains in PSL History

5- Mohammad Rizwan

Mohammad Rizwan Multan Sultan
Mohammad Rizwan Multan Sultan

The shortest description of Mohammad Rizwan’s captaincy would be ‘he came, he commanded and he conquered’ But as short as the description is, his struggles in the tournament are equally long, but let’s save that for later. An average, often benched, middle-order batsman such as Rizwan was given the captaincy by Multan Sultan owners in 2021, the sixth edition of the league. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the management took a big risk but it paid them off really well.

In the league’s third edition, Multan Sultans were the new entrants and they did not make an immediate impact. For two seasons they were the underdogs and only began to get the recognition in 2020 when they qualified for the playoffs for the first time. Unfortunately, they lost both the matches and were eliminated.

To hand the captaincy to Rizwan was a huge step. Shan Masood the previous leader was doing quite well. Nobody was surprised when Sultans couldn’t perform well in the first phase of the tournament as Rizwan tried hard to keep a balance in the team. But the second half saw an entirely changed team. Once they were on the winning ways, the momentum kept going for them and it only stopped when the trophy came into their hands.

One can argue that Muhammad Rizwan is too new to be among the list of best PSL captains but the way he has led the team and continue to do so in the ongoing season of the league is just phenomenal. He truly embodies the word consistent and the champion mindset he has set forth in the mind of each and every player is nothing short of brilliant. His exceptional work in PSL won him a spot in the national team as an opener and he has been delivering ever since.

4- Imad Wasim


Like Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim was also part of the group of lads that raised the second U-19 World Cup trophy for Pakistan. He found a permanent spot with the senior cricket team in 2015 and in the third season of the PSL, Wasim was handed the captaincy for the Karachi Kings by Salman Iqbal, the franchise owner. 

The year he became the captain, the team finished second in the group stages. They lost two play-offs that season and were eventually eliminated. They faced similar circumstances in the next edition, qualifying for the knock-offs bagging ten points in the initial stages, and were ousted after losing the only play-off they played.

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, Karachi Kings were finally successful in clinching the PSL title in season five. The usual league final giants could not make it to the finals this time around, and the two teams, Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars, who had not previously seen the dawn of a PSL final, were face-to-face. But Imad’s team completely dominated the opposition that day and Kings fan sighed a breath of relief.

Under Imad, the franchise found what it was looking for, and that is stability. His consistency and aggression led to the eventual win. Defending champions in 2021, they were again made to exit in the knock-offs. The captain has led his side in 46 matches out of which they have won 26 and carry a win percentage of 56.5

3- Sarfaraz Ahmed

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed

From season one to four, if there was any team with the most consistency, it was Quetta Gladiators and it was led by none other than Sarfaraz Ahmed. The franchise owner could not see anyone better than Sarfaraz who won for Pakistan its second U-19 World Cup in 2006. The captain is still to miss a single match of PSL until now.

In the first three editions of the game, Sarfaraz commanded his team to the finals. They finished in the second position on the table in the first two seasons and fourth in third but always managed a spot in the finals. But could never cross the finish line, their form always diminishing in the last game. Yet, their consistency had gained them many fans throughout the country.

But 2019 proved out to be the year for Sarfaraz. For the first time in four years, the captain not-so-cool successfully managed to steer the team across the winning line, finally grabbing the trophy they have been coming close to for the past three years. The entire nation was in jubilation and not just the Quetta fans.

After the successful 2019 stint, the performance of the team under Sarfaraz sharply declined. They were eliminated in the following season before the play-offs and the same happened in the 2021 and 2022 editions. The team that would perform like a unit was seen as shaky and inconsistent. Sarafarz’s own performance declined and many have raised speculations over their continuous under-performance.

2- Darren Sammy

Darren Sammy Peshwar Zalmi
Darren Sammy Peshwar Zalmi

Darren Sammy is probably one of the few foreign players that are dearly loved by every Pakistani. His name will always be among the list of people who helped revive cricket in Pakistan. Sammy has played four seasons for Peshawar Zalmi and two he has spent as a coach.

In 2017, Darren Sammy was chosen to captain the franchise and that proved to be one of the best decisions for the men in yellow. The team finished the league stage matches on the top. This particular season was special since the PCB decided to conduct the final in Pakistan. Sammy convinced all the international players to tour Pakistan and the entire squad came to the country. In front of a packed Lahore crowd, Peshawar Zalmi won its first league title and much of the credit for that win goes to the captain.

The West Indian was retained as the captain for PSL 2018 as well as 2019. And in both of these seasons, he led his team to the finals. But unfortunately, the yellow storm could not win either as they were over-powered by Islamabad United in the first one, and in the second one, Quetta Gladiators proved too good for them snatching away victory very comprehensively. The win percentage for the franchise in these seasons under Sammy was 53.8% and 69%.

The captain stepped down from the leading position in 2020, mid-season, and took over the coaching role. That year, the team could not qualify for the final and in the next, they lost yet another final and another chance to win the trophy. He is still dearly missed by many cricket fans in Pakistan.

1- Misbah-ul-Haq


Misbah-ul-Haq, after successfully leading the Pakistan national team into many successful ventures, was selected to command the Islamabad United franchise in 2016, the same year he won Pakistan its very first and only test mace after taking the Test team on top of the ICC rankings for the first time since 2003.

The first edition of the league went all in Misbah’s favour. Even though the round-robin stage of the league did not go too well but the team came as a proper unit in the semi-finals and went on to win the finals. The captain cool had won Islamabad United its first trophy in the very first season. They had a win percentage of 63.3%

In the second season, Misbah couldn’t continue the momentum from the first one. They barely made it to the semis but were eliminated but Misbah didn’t give up. Under Misbah, Islamabad United came stronger in PSL 2018. Winning 75% matches, the men in red jerseys thrashed Peshawar Zalmi in the final to claim the title for the second time, a feat other teams are yet to achieve. For the 2019 edition, Misbah shifted from captaining the team to coaching it. He left the team in 2020 due to his commitments with the national team.

Many players have come and captained the teams. But these five have stood out the most, earning their franchises titles for the first time. Among all the things, perseverance and a winning mindset are two key aspects that should be present in a leader in heavy amounts because they are the main ingredients of success and these two are exactly what the mentioned players had.

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