As always, the PSL 2020 will give us a chance to look at relatively unknown Pakistani cricketers. Here's a selection of six such players, one from each team.
Ahmed Safi Abdullah (Islamabad United)
Just 21, Abdullah comes into the PSL without any baggage, having not played an official T20 at any level. But there's still plenty from his record to be excited by. Since making his first-class debut just over a year ago, the left arm spinner has built a flourishing reputation as a prolific wicket-taker, having snared 59 in 19 first-class games at 23.38. He comes into the tournament fresh off a six-wicket haul in Faisalabad and four wickets in an innings in Bahawalpur during a pair of Second XI games, and while his List A record isn't as encouraging as that in first-class cricket, this is a great opportunity for him to change that. Shadab Khan and Zafar Gohar should be ahead of him in the pecking order, but it's unlikely Abdullah won't get his chance at some point, and if he does, there's enough to suggest he will surprise a few people.
Arshad Iqbal (Karachi Kings)
In a squad as full of quality fast bowlers as Karachi Kings, there's a possibility Iqbal will not get the opportunity his precocious talent deserves. Part of Pakistan's squad that made it to the semi-finals of the 2018 Under-19 World Cup, the quick was one of only some Pakistan players to give a good account of himself in a game Pakistan lost heavily to India, taking 3 for 51. He went on to make his first-class debut for WAPDA that year, taking five wickets in the match. His short career in T20 cricket has been impressive too - he has taken ten wickets at 17 with an economy rate of 6.80 in seven matches. Should he get to add to them, there's little reason to feel he will not be able to continue the upward trajectory.
Aamir Ali (Peshawar Zalmi)
There isn't too much you can say with certainty about Aamir just yet, and indeed he may find opportunities limited this season. The 17-year-old left-arm spinner was part of Pakistan's Under-19 World Cup campaign, and picked up four wickets in five games. He was also the youngest player to feature in this season's Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, taking the wicket of his Peshawar Zalmi team-mate Kamran Akmal on debut. Peshawar have seen another spin bowler in Ibtisam Sheikh fall off after a very promising PSL 2 years ago. So they should have extra incentive to make sure Aamir doesn't fall in the same trap, particularly since, for all their success in the PSL, Peshawar are one of the franchises yet to serve as the springboard for an emerging player's career.
Rohail Nazir (Multan Sultans)
All right, so this is a bit of a cop-out. You should know who Nazir is, but familiarity should not take away from anything. The 18-year-old was captain of Pakistan's Under-19 side at the latest World Cup, scoring a half-century in the semi-final in a losing cause against India. He is already captain of his first-class side in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, and steered them to the final of the competition, accumulating 150 runs across two innings. Multan Sultans have already appointed him vice-captain, and as the only enlisted keeper in the squad, he's pretty much a first-teamer. That should both be exciting and challenging for Nazir; T20 cricket is the one format he hasn't raced out of the blocks in. Averages north of 36 and 47 in first-class and List A competitions respectively sit out of kilter with a T20 average of 18 at under 114. Nothing about his technique suggests this is not rectifiable, and he'll be one of the players to keep a close eye on.
Arish Ali Khan (Quetta Gladiators)
Arish is just 19, a left-arm spinner who emerged from a PCB-conducted tournament in 2016, ending as the leading wicket-taker with 45 strikes at 12.24. Since then, he has been part of the Pakistan youth set-up. He soon became the captain of the Pakistan Under-16 team, and after good returns against Australia in the UAE in the one-dayers and T20s, he made into the Under-19 circuit, and continued to do well, finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the national Under-19 three-day tournament last year with 30 strikes at 16.27. He did make it to the He is a success of the system, and has a happy knack of picking up wickets at critical junctures.
Maaz Khan (Lahore Qalandars)
Maaz is a product of the Lahore Qalandars scouting programme - from Jamrud in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, he is a legspinner with the attitude of a fast bowler. He has a good googly, a flipper, and can turn the new ball well too. He wasn't picked in the Draft, the PCB allowed Qalandars to pick up an additional emerging player from their own programme. Yet to have a go in the domestic set-up, Maaz was unleashed against Titans in the Abu Dhabi T20 Cup in 2018, and finished with 2 for 23 after opening the bowling.