Ranking the Top 15 Captains with the Most Success in PSL History

Pakistan Super League (PSL) have witnessed some remarkable captains in its history. Here we analyse some of the most successful PSL captains.

Ranking the Top 15 Captains with the Most Success in PSL History
Dillip Mohanty

Written by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Fact checked by: Umaima Saeed

(Sports Writer)

Last updated: 2024-02-29

5 minutes read

A captain plays an important role in a team’s performance on and off the field. A team’s success or failure is more or less dependent on who their leader is and what qualities he brings to the table. In a top league like PSL, there have been some brilliant captains over the years. Let’s have a look at the most successful captains and their sides over the years.

PSL WINNERS LIST AND CAPTAINS

2016 - 2023

SEASONCHAMPIONCAPTAIN
2016ISLAMABAD UNITEDMISBAH-UL-HAQ
2017PESHAWAR ZALMIDAREN SAMMY
2018ISLAMABAD UNITEDJP DUMINY
2019QUETTA GLADIATORSSARFARAZ AHMED
2020KARACHI KINGSIMAD WASIM
2021MULTAN SULTANSMOHAMMAD RIZWAN
2022LAHORE QALANDARSSHAHEEN SHAH AFRIDI
2023LAHORE QALANDARSSHAHEEN SHAH AFRIDI
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Shaheen Shah Afridi became the first-ever captain to win back-to-back titles in PSL. He became the youngest captain to win a franchise-based T20 league in the world and also the only captain to win multiple PSL trophies. Sohail Akhtar was the captain of Lahore Qalandars in 2020 taking the team to the final. Afridi became one of the successful players for Pakistan and is now the full-time T20 captain of the national team.

Here is a list of the most successful PSL captains based on their number of wins.

MOST SUCCESSFUL CAPTAINS

IN PSL

PLAYERSPANMATCHESWONLOST
SARFARAZ AHMED2016-2023803841
MOHAMMAD RIZWAN2021-PRESENT402713
SHADAB KHAN2019-PRESENT462422
IMAD WASIM2018-2023512324
DAREN SAMMY2017-2020392216
SHAHEEN SHAH AFRIDI2022-PRESENT291711
MISBAH-UL-HAQ2016-2018261510
WAHAB RIAZ2020-2022281314
SOHAIL AKHTAR2020-2021231211
SHOAIB MALIK2016-2022301019
SHAN MASOOD2020-PRESENT1484
BABAR AZAM2020-PRESENT25718
SHAHID AFRIDI20161064
KUMAR SANGAKKARA20171055
BRENDON McCULLUM2017-201818511
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Sarfaraz Ahmed

Sarfaraz Ahmed Wicket Keeping in PSL.jpeg

Image credit: X (PSL)

The former Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is the most successful captain in PSL history. He also has a record of captaining a side in the most number of PSL matches. Sarfaraz led the Gladiators on 80 occasions from 2016 to 2023 winning 38 matches. The Gladiators were runners-up in the first couple of seasons, made the playoffs in PSL 3 and were crowned champions in the fourth season. The team however failed to reach the playoffs since then in 4 continuous seasons. Sarfaraz was replaced by Rilee Rossouw as Gladiators captain in PSL 2024.

Mohammad Rizwan

The wicketkeeper and top-order batter made his PSL debut for Lahore Qalandars, moved to Karachi Kings and took over the cpataincy for Multan Sultans in 2021. His first season as captain was a successful one with the Sultans winning their first-ever title under Rizwan’s captaincy. The 2022 season was a terrific one with Sultans finishing at the top of the table. The team won 10 matches and lost only 2 including the final. In the 2023 season, the side finished 2nd on the table and were runners-up again to Lahore Qalandars. In 40 matches as captain, Rizwan has led the side to 27 wins.

Shadab Khan

Drafted in the Islamabad United squad as a teenager, Shadab took over the captaincy in 2019 after regular captain Mohammad Sami was ruled out and led in 3 matches. He has captained the side to 24 wins in 40 matches. Since 2019, Islamabad has made it to 3 playoffs in 4 seasons. Shadab is also the leading wicket-taker and third-highest run-scorer for Islamabad in the league.

Imad Wasim

The allrounder captained Karachi Kings from 2018 to 2023 in 51 matches managing to win 23 games for the side. He was the captain of the Kings when the side lifted the PSL trophy in 2020. Under his leadership, Karachi Kings made it to 4 consecutive playoffs including their championship run in PSL 5. The team finished at the bottom of the table in 2022 and was ranked 5th in PSL 8 with Imad traded to Islamabad United for the ninth PSL season.

Daren Sammy

After leading the West Indies side to multiple World T20 titles, Daren Sammy was appointed the captain of Peshawar Zalmi in PSL 2. Sammy worked his magic in his first season as skipper taking the side to their first PSL title. Peshawar were runners up in the 2018 and 2019 seasons respectively and is the only side to make the PSL playoffs in every single season. Sammy led the side in 39 matches with the team winning 22 matches and losing just 16. Sammy is currently the head coach of Peshawar Zalmi for PSL 9.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

PSL 2023 Winner Cheque.jpeg

Image credit: X (PSL)

The young pace sensation from Pakistan, Shaheen Shah Afridi made his PSL debut in the 3rd season for Lahore Qalandars. In the six seasons before Afridi was appointed captain, Qalandars made the playoffs only once. Afridi took over the captaincy in 2022 and led the team to their first-ever championship becoming the youngest captain in the world to win a T20 league. Under his captaincy, Qalandars created history by becoming the first team in PSL to win back-to-back titles as Qalandars lifted the PSL 8 trophy under Shaheen’s leadership in 2023.

Misbah-Ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq led the Islamabad United team to the first-ever PSL title. After a shaky start to their 2016 campaign, the team won the eliminator, and 2nd qualifier and went on to lift the trophy. The team made it to the playoffs in 2017 again failing to reach the final. In 2018, Islamabad became the first team in PSL to win multiple trophies. Misbah-ul-Haq successfully led the side to their 2nd title. Under his leadership, United won 15 out of 26 matches.

Wahab Riaz

The left-arm pacer led the Peshawar Zalmi team in three seasons from 2020 to 2022 winning 13 out of 28 matches and losing 14. Under his captaincy, Zalmi reached the finals of the 2021 season losing to Multan Sultans. The team made it to the playoffs every season under his leadership but couldn’t win a single trophy since 2017 when he played a key role leading the bowling attack. He is the leading wicket-taker in PSL history.

Sohail Akhtar

Sohail Akhtar was the captain of Lahore Qalandars in PSL 5 and also in the sixth season. He is the only captain in PSL history to never have played any format of international cricket. He was appointed the captain in 2020 after he led the Qalandars side to victory in the Abu Dhabi T20 trophy. Qalandars' side was in turmoil in PSL as they failed to make the playoffs in 4 seasons but under Akhtar’s leadership they finished as runners-up in 2020 but after another bad season in 2021, he was replaced as captain by Shaheen Afridi.

Shoaib Malik

One of the most successful allrounders for Pakistan, Shoaib Malik didn’t quite get the success as captain in Pakistan Super League. He was the first captain of Karachi Kings, led the Multan Sultans from 2018 to 2019 and then Peshawar Zalmi on a couple of occasions. The Kings had a poor start to their campaign as they won only 2 matches under Malik’s leadership. He served as a captain for Multan in 2018 and 2019 where the side failed to go through to the playoffs. For Zalmi he stood in for Wahab Riaz in a couple of games winning 1 and losing the other.

Shan Masood

Pakistan’s current Test captain Shan Masood was the captain of Multan Sultans in PSL 2020. As of 2024, Masood is leading the Karachi Kings side replacing Babar Azam. As Multan Sultans captain PSL 2020 was a good season for his team as he led the side to the playoffs for the first time in PSL history. The team won 6 matches and lost 3 that season under his leadership. He was also the 3rd highest scorer for the team that season with 209 runs in 7 innings.

Babar Azam

Babar Azam Captain Peshawar Zalmi PSL.jpeg

Image credit: X (PSL)

The former multi-format captain of Pakistan, Babar Azam didn’t enjoy a great time as captain in Pakistan Super League. He first captained Karachi Kings in the absence of regular captain Imad Wasim in 2020. He was the PSL Karachi Kings captain in 2022 taking over from Wasim. He led the team in 10 games managing to win just 1 match. The team languished at the bottom of the table. Babar later moved to Peshawar Zalmi and led the side to the playoffs in 2023.

Shahid Afridi

One of the most popular cricketers from Pakistan and a fine allrounder, senior pro Afridi was in PSL Peshawar Zalmi captain in the inaugural season. Leading the side in 10 games, Afridi played an influential role in taking the side to the playoffs but not beyond. The team won 6 games and lost 4. After playing a couple of seasons with Zalmi, Afridi featured for Karachi Kings, Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators in the tournament.

Kumar Sangakkara

One of the finest leaders on a cricket field, Kumar Sangakkara led the Karachi Kings in the 2nd season. The team won 4 league games out of 8 finishing 3rd on the points table. Karachi defeated Islamabad United in the first eliminator but lost to eventual champions Peshawar Zalmi in the qualifier. Sangakkara played the next season for Multan Sultans.

Brendon McCullum

One of New Zealand’s most influential captains and now a successful Test coach of the England cricket team, McCullum didn’t quite enjoy the success in PSL. He led the Lahore Qalandars for 2 seasons in 2017 and 2018 managing to win only 5 matches out of 18. The team finished at the bottom of the table in both seasons under McCullum’s leadership.

PSL TEAMS AND CAPTAINS

2024

TEAMCAPTAIN
ISLAMABAD UNITEDSHADAB KHAN
PESHAWAR ZALMIBABAR AZAM
QUETTA GLADIATORSRILEE ROSSOUW
KARACHI KINGSSHAN MASOOD
MULTAN SULTANSMOHAMMAD RIZWAN
LAHORE QALANDARSSHAHEEN SHAH AFRIDI
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FAQs

Who was the captain of Lahore Qalandar in PSL 2020?

Sohail Akhtar captained Lahore Qalandars in PSL 2020. He was replaced by Shaheen Afridi for the 2022 season.

Who was the captain of the Multan Sultan in PSL 2020?

Shan Masood captained Multan Sultan in PSL 2020.

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Dillip Mohanty

Dillip Mohanty

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.

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