Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings. Image: BCCI

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar compared IPL franchise Punjab Kings to PSL team Lahore Qalandars. The Punjab franchise is yet to win its first elusive IPL title despite changing too many leaders in the last 14 years.

In fact, the last time Punjab qualified for the playoffs in IPL 2014 was the only time they came closer to winning the IPL title but were eked out by Kolkata Knight Riders in the final by three wickets. Since IPL 2014, Punjab has changed six captains but failed to reach the knockout stage.

Akhtar compared Punjab Kings’ journey in the similar ranks of Lahore Qalandars who were unsuccessful in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) until they won their maiden title this year. Under the leadership of Shaheen Afridi, Lahore Qalandars defeated Mohammad Rizwan-led Multan Sultans by 42 runs in the PSL 2022 final in Lahore.

Lahore Qalandars
Lahore Qalandars emerged champions of PSL 2022 after defeating Multan Sultans by 42 runs in the final. Image: Lahore Qalandars/Twitter

I hope Punjab Kings should do something this year: Shoaib Akhtar

Akhtar believes that the fortunes of Mayank Agarwal’s team could change just like it did for the Lahore franchise.  The former Pakistan player, who played three matches for KKR in IPL 2008, is hopeful of Punjab lifting their maiden title this year.

“Our favourite team is Punjab because even we have a team from Punjab in PSL, which is Lahore Qalandars, and even they too never win. Finally, this year they won the final. So I hope that like Punjab from our side, even the Punjab from your side should do something. They have got off to a good start but let’s see what they do next,” Akhtar told Sportskeeda. 

IPL 2022: Punjab Kings beat RCB by five wickets in their first match

Punjab Kings outsmarted Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their opening game as they chased 206 with one over to spare in a topsy-turvy game. West Indies all-rounder Odean Smith provided the finishing touches to Punjab Kings in their fabulous paced chase of 206 with a blitz 8-ball 25.

Odean Smith and Shahrukh Khan
Odean Smith and Shahrukh Khan. Image: BCCI

Smith was supported by Tamil Nadu batter Shahrukh Khan who landed a six and a boundary to Harshal Patel in the penultimate over to take his side past the finishing line.

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