Ihsanullah first bowler to win Player of PSL award
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Fast bowler Ihsanullah of Multan Sultans, who was picked in the Emerging Category, has been named as the Player of HBL PSL 8 by an independent panel that was headed by Mr Haroon Rashid (Chair of HBL PSL 8 Technical Committee) with respected commentators Bazid Khan, Daren Ganga, Nick Knight and Sana Mir as members.
Ihsanullah is the first player from the Emerging Category to beat the more experienced and established stars in the cut-throat competition for the prestigious award. The previous seven winners of this award are: Ravi Bopara (2016, Karachi Kings), Kamran Akmal (2017, Peshawar Zalmi), Luke Ronchi (2018, Islamabad United), Shane Watson (2019, Quetta Gladiators), Babar Azam (2020, Karachi Kings), Sohaib Maqsood (2021, Multan Sultans) and Mohammad Rizwan (2022, Multan Sultans).
Ihsanullah had figures of two for 37, five for 12, three for 24, two for 19, none for 17, two for 22, two for 33, two for 35, none for 35, two for 58, one for 18 and one for 37 in 12 matches. He finished the series with 22 wickets at an economy-rate of 7.59.
By virtue of these consistent performances that also earned him his maiden call-up to the Pakistan side for the Afghanistan T20Is, the lanky fast bowler was also declared the Bowler of the HBL PSL 8. Previous winners of this award are: Andre Russell (2016), Sohail Khan (2017), Faheem Ashraf (2018), Hasan Ali (2019), Shaheen Shah Afridi (2020), Shahnawaz Dahani (2021) and Shadab Khan (2022).
Multan Sultans captain Mohammad Rizwan was adjudged as the Batter of HBL PSL 8 after he won the Hanif Mohammad Cap for the highest-scorer of the tournament. Rizwan finished the competition with 550 runs at a strike-rate of 142.85 with a century and four half-centuries. Previous winners of this award are: Umar Akmal (2016), Kamran Akmal (2017 & 2018), Shane Watson (2019), Babar Azam (2020), Sohaib Maqsood (2021) and Fakhar Zaman (2022).
Rizwan also scooped the Wicketkeeper of HBL PSL 8. He accounted for 14 batters (13 catches and one stump).
There was more good news for Multan Sultans when 21-year-old Abbas Afridi won the Emerging Player of the HBL PSL 8 and Kieron Pollard collected the Best Fielder of HBL PSL 8 award.
Abbas finished as the leading wicket-taker with 23 wickets at an economy-rate of 9.45 with two four-fers and a hat-trick. This category was introduced in 2019 and the previous four winners are Umer Khan (2019) Haider Ali (2020), Shahnawaz Dahani (2021) and Zaman Khan (2022).
Alex Wharf was named as the Umpire of HBL PSL 8, while Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim was named as the All-Rounder of HBL PSL 8.
The gutsy left-hander scored 404 runs at a strike-rate of over 170 and also claimed nine wickets at an economy-rate of 7.93. Imad had spearheaded Kings’ campaign but received little support from his team-mates, which resulted in the 2020 champions’ failure to qualify for the playoffs. Nonetheless, his impressive performance helped him reclaim his place in the national side for the three-T20I series against Afghanistan in Sharjah.
Complete list of award winners:
Player of HBL PSL 8 final – Shaheen Shah Afridi (Lahore Qalandars) (44 not out, 4-51)
HBL PSL 8 Player of the Tournament – Ihsanullah (Multan Sultans) (22 wickets, economy-rate 7.59)
Batter of HBL PSL 8 –Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans) (550 runs, 142.5 strike-rate)
Bowler of HBL PSL 8 – Ihsanullah (Multan Sultans) (22 wickets, economy-rate 7.59)
Fielder of HBL PSL 8 – Kieron Pollard (Multan Sultans) (11 catches)
Wicketkeeper of HBL PSL 8 – Mohammad Rizwan (Multan Sultans) (14 dismissals)
Emerging Player of HBL PSL 8 – Abbas Afridi (Multan Sultans) (23 wickets, economy-rate 9.45)
All-rounder of HBL PSL 8 – Imad Wasim (Karachi Kings) (404 runs and nine wickets)
Spirit of Cricket – Peshawar Zalmi
Umpire of HBL PSL 8 – Alex Wharf