Boost for Gladiators, setbacks for United, Zalmi ahead of PSL 9 playoffs

The playoffs of HBL PSL 9 starts from Thursday at National Bank Stadium, Karachi

Boost for Gladiators, setbacks for United, Zalmi ahead of PSL 9 playoffs PHOTO: PSL

Quetta Gladiators have received a significant boost ahead of their Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine playoffs clash against Islamabad United. 

Star middle-order batsman Sherfane Rutherford, who had left the squad on March 9 due to personal reasons, will rejoin the team on Wednesday. Rutherford's absence in the last three matches, including a crucial encounter, was felt by the Gladiators. His return is welcomed news for captain Rilee Russouw, who aims to lead the team to their second PSL title. 

Rutherford has been in impressive form during PSL 9, scoring 151 runs in six innings at a strike rate of 148.03. His memorable performance earlier in the season against Karachi Kings showcased his batting prowess.

Meanwhile, Islamabad United opener Colin Munro is doubtful for the eliminator match against Quetta Gladiators due to a hamstring injury. 

Munro, who is one of Islamabad's top run-scorers in the tournament, suffered the injury in a recent match. His availability for the first eliminator is uncertain, and a final decision will be made by the team's medical staff if Islamabad qualifies for the second eliminator.

In another development, Peshawar Zalmi will miss the services of Afghanistan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq in the playoffs. Naveen has left the Zalmi squad to join the Afghanistan cricket team for their upcoming T20I series against Ireland. Despite his departure, Naveen expressed gratitude to the Zalmi fans and wished the team success in the playoffs.

"Couple of great weeks with Peshawar Zalmi comes to an end," Naveen wrote on Instagram.

"Sad to be leaving before the playoffs but thanking all the Zalmi fans for their love and support. I will be cheering for the team to win the trophy this year In sha Allah," he further added.