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APL 2018 Predictions and Betting Tips

Everything a punter needs to know - from team previews and squads to betting odds and predictions - about the APL 2018, to be played between October 5 and 21.

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APL

The inaugural edition of Afghanistan's first major domestic twenty20 cricket competition - Afghanistan Premier League - is scheduled to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates from October 5-21. The tournament will feature 5 teams and comprise a total of 23 matches, all of which are set to be played in Sharjah at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The top four teams at the end of the double round-robin league stage will progress to the semi-finals and the winner from each semi-final will then clash for the coveted trophy in the final.

Read on for team previews, betting odds, betting tips and predictions for Afghanistan Premier League (APL) 2018....

Afghanistan Premier League 2018 Team Previews

Kabul Zwanan Team Preview

Kabul Zwanan will be led by Afghanistan's star player Rashid Khan who is also the icon of the team. Luke Ronchi, Colin Ingram, Sohail Tanvir, Ali Khan, Laurie Evans and Wayne Parnell have been recruited in the squad as the overseas players. While Luke Ronchi, Colin Ingram and Hazratullah Zazai are the key figures in the team's batting group, Rashid Khan, Sohail Tanvir and Wayne Parnell are the major threats in their bowling attack.

Paktia Panthers Team Preview

Shahid Afridi has been named the icon player of Paktia Panthers and he is all set to skipper the side in this inaugural edition of the Afghanistan Premier League. He along with Thisara Perera, Cameron Delport, Chris Jordan, Luke Wright, Calum MacLeod and Faheem Ashraf constitute the overseas contingent of the team. Mohammad Shahzad, Cameron Delport, Samiullah Shenwari and Luke Wright will be the Panthers' best hopes with the bat while Thisara Perera, Chris Jordan, Faheem Ashraf and Yousaf Zazi will be the bowlers to watch out for.

Kandahar Knights Team Preview

Kandahar Knights will be captained by their icon player Brendon McCullum. The New Zealand batsman along with Wahab Riaz, Paul Stirling, Tymal Mills, Mohammad Naveed, Iftikhar Ahmed and Sam Billings have been drafted into the squad as overseas signings. Kandahar's batting in the APL 2018 will depend on the likes of Asghar Afghan, Sam Billings, Najibullah Zadran and skipper Brendon McCullum. Tymal Mills, Wahab Riaz, Karim Janat and Sayed Shirzad seem to be the best options in the team's bowling department.

Nangarhar Leopards Team Preview

The West Indian allrounder Andre Russell has been named both the captain as well as the icon player of the Nangarhar Leopards for the APL 2018. Apart from him, the team has signed Tamim Iqbal, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mohammad Hafeez and Mushfiqur Rahim as part of their overseas recruit. While Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Hafeez, Mushfiqur Rahim and Rahmat Shah are the big guns in Nangarhar's batting group, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Andre Russell, Mitchell McClenaghan and Sandeep Lamichhane make up a strong bowling attack.

Balkh Legends Team Preview

Mohammad Nabi and Chris Gayle have been appointed as captain and icon player respectively of Balkh Legends for this first season of the Afghanistan Premier League. In addition to Gayle, the team has included Colin Munro, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Nawaz, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Irfan and Ben Laughlin into the squad as overseas players. Balkh's batting will rely heavily on the likes of Chris Gayle, Colin Munro, Usman Ghani and Kamran Akmal. Their bowling looks pretty strong with Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Irfan, Ben Laughlin and Mohammad Nawaz on the roster.

Afghanistan Premier League 2018 Squads

Kabul Zwanan Squad

Rashid Khan (c/icon), Luke Ronchi, Hazrat Zazai, Colin Ingram, Fareed Ahmad, Javed Ahmadi, Sohail Tanvir, Laurie Evans, Wayne Parnell, Shahidullah, Muslim Musa, Afsar Zazai, Ali Khan, Zahir Shirzad, Fitrat Khawry, Usman Adil, Shawkat Zaman, Nasir Totakhil, Zamir Khan

Paktia Panthers Squad

Shahid Afridi (c/icon), Thisara Perera, Mohammad Shahzad, Cameron Delport, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Samiullah Shinwari, Chris Jordan, Faheem Ashraf, Luke Wright, Amatullah Omerzai, Rahmanullah Garbaz, Zia Urhaman Akber, Calum MacLeod, Tahir Adil, Yousaf Zazi, Fazal Zazai

Kandahar Knights Squad

Brendon McCullum (c/icon), Wahab Riaz, Asghar Afghan, Paul Stirling, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Tymal Mills, Sam Billings, Iftikhar Ahmed, Amir Hamza, Karim Sadiq, Sayed Shirzad, Mohammad Naveed, Waqar, Abdul Baqi, Waheed Shafaq, Waqarullah Ishaq, Nasir Jamal

Nangarhar Leopards Squad

Andre Russell (c/icon), Tamim Iqbal, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ben Cutting, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Najeeb Tarakai, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Hafeez, Rahmat Shah, Naveen Ul Haq, Zahir Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Fazal Haq, Imran Janat, Nasratullah Quarishi, Khyber Omar, Ibrahim Zadran, Fazal Nazi

Balkh Legends Squad

Mohammad Nabi (c),Chris Gayle (icon), Colin Munro, Ravi Bopara, Aftab Alam, Gulbadin Naib, Mohammad Irfan, Ben Laughlin, Kamran Akmal, Qais Ahmad, Usman Ghani, Ikrain Alikhil, Ryan ten Doeschate, Tariq Skanikai, Asadullah Matani, Samiullah Salarzai, Farhan Zakhil, Mohammad Nawaz, Darwish Rasooli

Afghanistan Premier League 2018 Schedule

Date Match Details Time
Oct 05, Fri

Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers, 1st Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 06, Sat

Kandahar Kings vs Nangarhar Leopards, 2nd Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 06, Sat

Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan, 3rd Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 07, Sun

Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers, 4th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 07, Sun

Balkh Legends vs Kandahar Kings, 5th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 09, Tue

Kabul Zwanan vs Nangarhar Leopards, 6th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 10, Wed

Balkh Legends vs Paktia Panthers, 7th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 11, Thu

Kabul Zwanan vs Kandahar Kings, 8th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 11, Thu

Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards, 9th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 12, Fri

Kandahar Kings vs Paktia Panthers, 10th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 12, Thu

Kabul Zwanan vs Nangarhar Leopards, 11th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 13, Sat

Balkh Legends vs Paktia Panthers, 12th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 13, Sat

Kandahar Kings vs Nangarhar Leopards, 13th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 14, Sun

Balkh Legends vs Kabul Zwanan, 14th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 14, Sun

Nangarhar Leopards vs Paktia Panthers, 15th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 16, Tue

Kabul Zwanan vs Kandahar Kings, 16th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 17, Wed

Balkh Legends vs Nangarhar Leopards, 17th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 17, Wed

Kandahar Kings vs Paktia Panthers, 18th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 18, Thu

Balkh Legends vs Kandahar Kings, 19th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

5:30 PM

12:00 PM GMT / 04:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 18, Thu

Kabul Zwanan vs Paktia Panthers, 20th Match

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 19,  Fri

TBC vs TBC, 1st Semi Final

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 20, Sat

TBC vs TBC, 2nd Semi Final

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Oct 21, Sun

TBC vs TBC, Final

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

9:30 PM

04:00 PM GMT / 08:00 PM LOCAL

Our Prediction: Who Will Win Afghanistan Premier League 2018?

Kabul Zwanan may have a potent bowling attack with the likes of Rashid Khan and Sohail Tanvir, but there does not seem to be much firepower in their batting department. The same can also be said about Nangarhar Leopards and Kandahar Knights who appear to be bowling heavy outfits. Paktia Panthers are a fine mix of experienced campaigners and young blood. They could go a long way but we don't see them winning the tournament. Balkh Legends seem to be the best balanced of all the teams. They have an explosive batting group with Chris Gayle and Colin Munro at the top of the order and their bowling unit too looks good on paper with the likes of Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nabi and Mohammad Nawaz. Balkh Legends have plenty of quality players in their ranks and so we feel they are better placed to win this inaugural edition of the APL.

Final Verdict: Back Balkh Legends to win the Afghanistan Premier League 2018.

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