One of the most spectacular transactions in PSL history, Pakistani bowler Naseem Shah’s move from Quetta Gladiators to Islamabad United for the forthcoming PSL season has resulted in an engrossing tale of bids and discussions. After a fierce competition amongst several teams vying for the valuable fast bowler, Islamabad United emerged triumphant, despite Multan Sultans initially seeming to be the front-runners for his contract.
Even though official approval is still waiting, the planned transfer now appears almost certain. There had been much speculation that Sultans were about to make an announcement on Naseem’s purchase when United, who had long-standing interest in the player, stepped in and sealed the deal. The Pakistani speedster’s wish to leave the Quetta Gladiators seems to be the result of a phase of dissatisfaction inside the team.
Gladiators won the title in 2019 and were a consistent team, but their play has declined since their early domination in the PSL’s early years. Shah’s desire for a change of scenery appears to have been influenced by this transformation. Even though he is considered a phenomenal talent in Pakistani cricket across all forms, his performance in the PSL hasn’t yet lived up to his potential.
In addition to his injuries, Naseem Shah’s difficult period in the PSL is concerning.
He has taken 26 wickets in 29 games, including two memorable games in 2022 where he took nine wickets. Nevertheless, all of his PSL statistics—including average, strike rate, and economy rate—fall short of his total T20 career numbers. In addition, questions remain regarding his availability for the forthcoming PSL season due to a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for the entirety of the 2023 World Cup and the later rounds of the Asia Cup.
Despite missing Pakistan’s tour of Australia and New Zealand, his recuperation in the UK suggests he might play in the PSL again. Official word on his readiness hasn’t been released yet, though. Though highly likely, the 20-year-old’s expected transfer to Islamabad United is still pending official approval. Amidst high expectations and fitness concerns ahead of the PSL season, the move might be an exciting new chapter in his career.