Peshawar Zalmi

peshawar zalmi cricket logoPeshawar Zalmi are a professional cricket franchise that are based in the city of Peshawar and perform in the Pakistan Super League. Founded during the initial franchise sale in 2015, Peshawar Zalmi played their first season in 2016. The franchise was purchased for a total of ten years and was one of the best performing teams during the opening season.

The Peshawar Zalmi got off to the best start of all franchises and quickly built for a successful future. This is a strong franchise that is the envy of many of the others, but things haven’t always gone the way they would have hoped or expected.

Founding Years

The Peshawar franchise was one of the five announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board in 2015. It was eventually purchased for $16 million, which is considerably less than the likes of Lahore and Karachi, which cost $25 million and $26 million respectively.

The eventual purchaser was Haier, a Chinese multinational company that specializes in consumer electronics. They were only one of two franchises to be purchased by an international corporation, but they are led by Javed Afridi, who heads the Pakistan arm of the Haier business, and their CEO is Zeehan Afzal.

The Peshawar Zalmi were captained by Shahid Afridi during their opening season. Afridi was one of the most experienced players in the league, so he was the perfect choice to take the skipper role and was instrumental in helping Peshawar Zalmi to top the league table at the end of the regular season.

Competitions

Peshawar Zalmi were one of the best teams during the group stage of the PSL. They won a total of 6 of their 8 games and they finished the league at the very top. They became many people’s tip to win the first title and everything looked very positive for this Peshawar franchise. However, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

In the playoff Peshawar Zalmi faced-off against Quetta, who had finished one place behind them in the league. Peshawar Zalmi lost the game by a single run, as Quetta walked away winners by 133 to 132. Because they had won the group stage, Peshawar Zalmi were then given a second chance when they played third-place finishers Islamabad United.

But they struggled to get the result they needed there as well, and Islamabad went on to win the tournament. This was heartbreaking for Peshawar Zalmi and means they were in with a chance right until the final ball, only to blow all of the season’s hard work when they failed to get the result they needed.

Islamabad are one of their biggest rivals. The 2016 champions hammered the final nail into Peshawar’s coffin during the opening season and this is something that the fans, the players and the owners did not forget in a hurry. The Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United matches have also been fiercely contested and are always well worth a watch.

One of the teams that they enjoy playing the most are the Karachi Kings. They have enjoyed a lot of success against the league’s most expensive franchise, recording a 100% clean sweep against them in the opening season. As a result, it’s no surprise to learn that fans of Peshawar Zalmi look forward to playing the Kings every time the fixture comes around.

Ambassadors, Partners and Fans

The Peshawar Zalmi have a long list of backroom staff. They have hired all kinds of coaches and analysts in order to get their team into shape. They play in yellow and blue and the word “Zalmi” means “Youth” in the Pashto language.

The Peshawar Zalmi are sponsored by the biggest real estate company in the country and like all other PSL teams they also have a long list of others sponsors and ambassadors. These include everyone from their kit designers Nike, to Giggly Boom Boom Bubble.

As is also common in this league, Peshawar Zalmi have a theme song to begin every season. In the opening season this song was “o Da Peshawar Zalmi” and in the second season this was changed to “Ya Qurban”. Some of the star names representing the club include Hamza Ali Abbasi and Humaima Malik, both of whom are Pakistani actors.

Players and Records

Some of the players to line up for Peshawar Zalmi during their first seasons in the PSL include overseas players Chris Jordan, Shakib Al Hasan, Marlon Samuels and Eoin Morgan; first draft pick Shahid Afridi; and 2017 captain Darren Sammy.

During the first season of the PSL, Wahab Riaz claimed the most wickets with a total of 15. Iqbal was the team’s highest run scorer, with 267. Riaz topped the charts for the season and continued his fine form into the second season as well. But Iqbal’s record wasn’t quite enough to beat some of his competitors, and it was actually a Lahore player who walked away with the honor of the highest scoring batsman during the first season.