The sixth Pakistan Super League (PSL) team had to make yet another replacement in the form of Johnson Charles, who joins the Multan Sultans as a like-for-like replacement of his countryman Nicholas Pooran. The decision was forced onto the franchise following the maiden ODI call-up for Pooran in their upcoming ODI series at home against England. Charles, just like Pooran, is a wicket-keeper who bats at the top of the order and is a part of the Silver category.
Nicholas Pooran earned his first ODI call-up after brilliant performances in the eight T20Is he has featured in so far. The left-handed Pooran has made a name in the league circuit with his brilliant batting abilities. His 53 runs off 25 deliveries against India last year was one of the stand-out performances of his career so far. Pooran has also featured in the PSL before, playing just one game for Islamabad United in the 2017 edition.
On the other hand, Johnson Charles has lost his opening spot in the West Indies team. The hard-hitting batter was one of the integral parts of the T20 sides that won the World T20 in 2012 and 2016. Following that, Charles has been part of various T20 tournaments, and he was also part of Quetta Gladiators in the past. However, not having played international cricket since November 2016, selecting Charles might be a gamble for the Multan Sultans.
Nevertheless, the 30-year-old revealed his excitement over being a part of the PSL and having a chance to share the dressing room with international greats including Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik. “I have heard so many good things about HBL PSL and I can’t wait to be a part of this Pakistani cricket festival,” Charles was quoted by Pak Passion.
“Our squad at Multan Sultans is fairly balanced and I am confident that we can do well this year. Personally speaking, I am really looking forward to sharing the dressing room with guys like Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi. They have played so much cricket and I am sure they will have great things to share with me and with the rest of our squad as well.”
Johnson Charles is the third forced replacement for the Multan Sultans, after Joe Denly and Steven Smith had to be replaced by James Vince and Andre Russell respectively. Denly is part of England’s ODI squad that faces the Windies while Steve Smith had to deal with an elbow injury that rules him out of the entire tournament.
Multan Sultans begin their PSL campaign under a new management on 15th of February against the Karachi Kings, and they will be willing to better their campaign from last year, where they finished 5th in the PSL table.