Multan Sultans face a major setback just before the start of the tournament, one that they definitely didn’t expect.
Leading Australian batsman Steve Smith, who is also an integral part of PSL and a platinum category player as well, has injured his elbow and would probably need a surgery to fix it. The news was shared by cricket.com.au earlier today.
Later on, it was confirmed by a tweet from PSL’s Official Twitter Account that Smith is out of PSL and Multan Sultans will be choosing a replacement in the replacement draft.
— PakistanSuperLeague (@thePSLt20) January 12, 2019
Smith will undergo surgery to repair a ligament in his right elbow on January 15. The right-hander is then expected to be in a brace for six weeks, which will be followed by extensive rehabilitation.
With the PSL fourth edition right around the corner, scheduled to be played from February 14 till 17 March 2019, this comes as a major blow for the PSL and the team Multan Sultans.
The injury cannot have come at a more improper time for Smith with only three months remaining to serve on his year-long suspension. The former Aussies captain is well out of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and might not be available for the upcoming fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Steve Smith was picked by the Multan Sultans in the platinum category during PSL 2019 draft picks, and has only given his conditional availability for the fourth edition of the PSL, insisting that he would only be playing matches in the United Arab Emirates and not travel to Pakistan for the playoffs and final.
Multan Sultan’s lineup
Multan Sultans has a long list of eminent cricketing stars in the team including Pakistan’s heartthrob Shahid Afridi and former captain Shoaib Malik in Platinum category. Like the previous season, Malik will be leading the team in the fourth edition of PSL as well.
Joe Denly is in a diamond category player and power hitter Nicholas Pooran is in the gold category.
As Smith was selected in the platinum category and was essential to add strength to the batting lineup, his absence could create a huge void in the team and make it considerably weak in front of other teams who have stars lined up.
Multan Sultans controversies
The team has undergone a tough journey in the last couple of months. Earlier, on November 10, PCB had terminated the franchise’s agreement with Schon Properties for granting franchise rights of Multan Sultans after they failed to meet its financial obligations. Then, all rights of the team were reverted back to the PCB.
The team underwent a renewed bidding process and finally was bought in by Ali Tareen, son of renowned PTI leader, Jahangeer Tareen.
The team’s name also became a huge question but after much deliberation, the same name i.e. Multan Sultans was retained.
Now the team has another major concern to cater as they lose their opening batsman. It would be interesting to see who Multan picks up instead of Steve Smith and will he be able to perform on the level of Steve Smith.