Lahore Qalandars

Squad: Hasan Khan, Rahat Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Anton Devcich, Agha Salman, Sohail Akhtar, AB de Villiers , Mohammad Hafeez, Carlos Brathwaite, Corey Anderson, Sandeep Lamichhane, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Imran, Umair Masood, Brendan Taylor, Gauhar Ali, Aizaz Cheema, Haris Rauf

It seems odd there was a debate at all about whether they should go for AB de Villiers or Steven Smith, given the South African's destructive capabilities are second to none. The decision to appoint Mohammad Hafeez as captain is a sharp walkback from the Brendon McCullum era, which seems to have ended rather coolly.

Strengths: Aggression at the top of the order has not been compromised. Fakhar Zaman and Anton Devcich were solid at the top in the second half of last year's tournament, while with de Villiers and Hafeez to follow, there is a balance that didn't exist last year.

Weaknesses: There is an uncomfortably high reliance on spin bowling, with Sandeep Lamichhane, Yasir Shah, Hasan Khan and Mohammad Hafeez. The best fast bowler Lahore have is Shaheen Afridi, which is a heavy burden for a teenager to bear. Rahat Ali and Sohail Akhtar are the other options, but neither screams world-class.

Islamabad United

Squad: Luke Ronchi, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Asif Ali, Mohammad Sami, Rumman Raees, Hussain Talat, Waqas Maqsood, Sahibzada Farhan, Zafar Gohar, Ian Bell, Samit Patel, Phil Salt, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Musa, Nasir Nawaz, Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt, Rizwan Hussain

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? That seems to be the reigning champions' philosophy, having retained the maximum allowed number of players from the previous season.

Strengths: This is a squad familiar with each other, as well as experienced in how to win this tournament. Ten players from this roster have played - and won - this title before, several of them twice. The keys to their success last season, Shadab Khan, Luke Ronchi, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Sami and Asif Ali will all reprise their roles.

Weaknesses: More so than any other format, T20 cricket is unforgiving to those resting on their laurels. And this Islamabad squad doesn't seem to have improved in a significant way, while most other sides have. The point could be made they did not need to, of course, which is a retort they have every right to make given their impeccable record.

Quetta Gladiators

Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed, Sohail Tanvir, Sunil Narine, Umar Akmal, Shane Watson, Mohammad Nawaz, Rilee Rossouw, Anwar Ali, Saud Shakeel, Dwayne Bravo, Fawad Ahmed, Mohammad Asghar, Danish Aziz, Ahsan Ali, Ghulam Mudassar, Naseem Shah, Harry Gurney, Ahmed Shehzad, Azam Khan, Jalat Khan

Quetta did most of their exciting business away from the glitz of this draft, when a bumper trade with Lahore Qalandars saw them secure the services of Umar Akmal and Sunil Narine. Fawad Ahmed's addition is a good story, while with Mohammad Asghar and Jalat Khan, they have two players from the province they represent.

Strengths: Dwyane Bravo is guaranteed T20 gold. The man with the most wickets in the format, he has delivered around the world, and is arguably the most intelligent T20 bowler from the generation of players who grew up before this format exploded. There's a great blend of fast bowlers and spinners, and solid local talent.

Weaknesses: The top order batting is a slight concern. Shane Watson will likely open the batting, but there are question marks over who accompanies him and what their pedigree is. They have both Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, but reliability is not a word you would associate with them.

Peshawar Zalmi

Squad: Darren Sammy, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Kamran Akmal, Liam Dawson, Umaid Asif, Khalid Usman, Sameen Gul, Kieron Pollard, Misbah-ul-Haq, Dawid Malan, Umar Amin, Wayne Madsen, Sohaib Maqsood, Jamal Anwar, Nabi Gul, Chris Jordan, Waqar Salamkheil, Ibtisam Sheikh, Samiullah Afridi

The team that perhaps epitomises the joy of the PSL most of all, the biggest news from Peshawar was Misbah-ul-Haq joining. Kieron Pollard also came in, while Darren Sammy, of course, remains captain.

Strengths: The fast bowling unit is a dream. Wahab Riaz is a different bowler when in the yellow of this side, while Hasan Ali is a diamond of a player for this format. Even fast bowlers who did not look to have much about them were at their best when playing for Peshawar, most notably Umaid Asif and Sameen Gul.

Weaknesses: Misbah? Really? The 44-year old was almost a liability in the line-up for Islamabad last year, and when he played shunted himself down the order. That means Kamran Akmal and Dawid Malan aside, there is a lack of genuine batting quality among Peshawar's ranks.

Karachi Kings

Squad: Imad Wasim , Colin Munro, Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Usman Khan Shinwari, Mohammad Rizwan, Ravi Bopara, Sikandar Raza, Awais Zia, Usama Mir, Aaron Summers, Sohail Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed, Aamer Yamin, Ben Dunk, Liam Livingstone, Jaahid Ali

Despite his reduced stock with Pakistan, Imad Wasim will captain his franchise again. This was another side that retained a number of core players, with Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir and Ravi Bopara prime among them.

Strengths: The balance between foreign and local quality is rather impressive. Stellar additions such as Colin Munro and Sikander Raza are complemented by Babar and Amir, while Usman Shinwari and Iftikhar Ahmed have shown enough quality of late to make their mark.

Weaknesses: Letting Joe Denly go could hurt them. The England opener was splendid all season earlier this year, his performance in the PSL arguably the catapult to his Man-of-the-Match return to the England T20 side after a decade out. With Imad more of an opening bowler and Raza a part-timer, there seems to be a bit too much pressure on Usama Mir to be the wicket-taking option Karachi will need him to be through the middle overs.

The Sixth Team

Squad: Shoaib Malik, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Irfan, Umar Siddiq, Mohammad Junaid, Steven Smith, Shahid Afridi, Joe Denly, Qais Ahmad, Nicolas Pooran, Laurie Evans, Nauman Ali, Mohammad Ilyas, Daniel Christian, Tom Moores, Ali Shafiq, Shakeel Ansar

Formerly Multan, this team's main errand before the tournament begins is to find itself an owner. In the meanwhile, they found a few players, snapping up Smith and Denly.

Strengths: Perhaps the most exciting additions at the draft. Steven Smith, should he perform anywhere near the level of his reputation, is a rock through the middle, while Denly is an established player in this league. Even Afridi remains handy with the ball, while the ageless Shoaib Malik and the flawless Mohammad Abbas are ones to watch out for.

Weaknesses: There are too many players who have not necessarily made their reputations in this format. The batting looks somewhat devoid of big hitters, with Nicholas Pooran the only obvious candidate. Denly can be as destructive as any, but is more of a classical shot-maker, and Afridi's batting cannot be relied upon.

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000