Shamar Joseph to increase PSL appeal: Peshawar Zalmi owner

The ninth edition of the six-team league will be contested 17 February to 18 March

Shamar Joseph exults during his demolition for the West Indies at the Gabba on 28 January (photo courtesy @windiescricket/X)
Shamar Joseph exults during his demolition for the West Indies at the Gabba on 28 January (photo courtesy @windiescricket/X)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

Until last Sunday, 28 January, Baracara — a small community in Guyana — was only a dot in the Caribbean Islands. Not any more.

For 24-year-old Shamar Joseph, the toast of world cricket after his seven-wicket haul triggered the heist for the West Indies at the Gabba, is their best-known ambassador now.

Come 17 February, Joseph — who has been roped in by former champions Peshawar Zalmi — will emerge as one of the biggest draws of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The six-team PSL, now in its ninth year, will be playing in Lahore and Karachi, with the final on 18 March.

The other teams in the fray are Islamabad United, the Karachi Kings, the Lahore Qalandars, the Multan Sultans and the Quetta Gladiators.

While speedster Joseph was signed on as a partial replacement for England’s Gus Atkinson (away till 11 March, when the five-match Test series against India will be done), PSL sources said Joseph would now continue till the end of the league. Speaking of what has turned out to be casting coup for them, Zalmi owner Javed Afridi said: ‘’We believe Shamar Joseph's presence will not only fortify Zalmi but also elevate the overall appeal of HBL PSL.’’

Javed Afridi, owner of the Peshawar Zalmi franchise in the Pakistan Super League (photo courtesy Javed Afridi)
Javed Afridi, owner of the Peshawar Zalmi franchise in the Pakistan Super League (photo courtesy Javed Afridi)
Javed Afridi

Speaking to the National Herald, the young franchise owner drew a parallel with their recruitment of Darren Sammy for PSL II, when Zalmi went on to be the champions. ‘’Our decision to include (Shamar) Joseph during the supplementary draft stems from our commitment to nurturing global youth talent. Shamar’s remarkable journey, from a remote village with no road access to becoming a cricket sensation, exemplifies the spirit and enthusiasm we value in our players.

Zalmi has a history of providing opportunities to emerging talents worldwide, fostering belief and enthusiasm, and Shamar’s inclusion aligns seamlessly with our philosophy.

What will certainly heighten the appeal of PSL — which often goes under the radar a bit — is that it will be the first occasion to see Joseph in action after his sensational spell with a broken toe, which paved the way for West Indies to win a Test match on Australian shores after 27 years.

That was a raw emotional moment, which saw the likes of Brian Lara and Carl Hooper breaking into tears during their role as TV pundits. Ian Bishop did well to hold it together but asked the media to hold off for a minute on a radio interview, so that he could snap a picture with the hero of the hour.

‘’Shamar Joseph’s addition significantly strengthens our team line-up," said Afridi, "addressing the demand from our fans for formidable fast bowlers. His recent sensational performance against Australia showcased his prowess and added a new dimension to our bowling attack. His success with us would symbolise a triumph for our team, contribute to the League's allure and ultimately enhance Pakistan's standing on the global cricket stage."

Afridi also feels that the presence of the current poster boy of world cricket will more than justify their investment. ‘’We see significant potential in Shamar Joseph, both in terms of his cricketing abilities and market value. As a young and spirited player, he embodies the ideology of Zalmi, resonating with the same passion that has defined our success with previous Caribbean players.

‘’Shamar’s tenacity, showcased through his journey from a security guard to a record-breaking bowler, is a testament to his dedication and resilience. We foresee his presence not only contributing to on-field success but also adding substantial value off the field. Shamar Joseph represents an investment in a promising talent whose potential we are confident will yield positive returns, both in terms of sporting achievements and broader market impact,’’ he added.

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