By M Muzamil Asif
Cricket runs like blood in our veins. It has now become the most popular sport thus holds huge fan following in the country.
Pakistan’s National game is hockey which was the reckoning sport in the late 90’s but the current situation has diminished its interest.
Cricket is a game which brought people closer to each other. Pakistan’s cricket has faced so many problems time to time, but somehow the game indeed has portrayed the strong image of the country in front of the world.
Pakistan has very few products that we can proudly own and take pride in. We were far behind the world, and with no international cricket being played at home, we were expected to lag further behind.
The year 2016 brought revolution in Pakistan’s cricket history when the Pakistan Cricket board (PCB) centre-staged its brand the Pakistan Super league (PSL) which later broke all the viewership records across the world.
PSL has done the same miracle which the IPL did for Indian cricket and it transformed into a festival for the country within two years.
Five teams representing Karachi, Quetta, Islamabad, Peshawar and Lahore took part in first two editions but this time the grand event will feature the sixth Franchise, Multan Sultans. Hopefully the addition of the new franchise would make the league more thrilling.
The country’s cricketing fraternity is eagerly looking forward to PSL 3 which explodes into action at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium with defending champions Peshawar Zalmi taking on newcomers Multan Sultans on February 22.
The new franchise has become the expensive franchise after the Karachi kings. Multan was bought by Schon group in US$41.6 million (eight year agreement); earlier Karachi Kings with US$26 million (ten-year agreement) was on the top.
The third season will include some more renowned international players than last year. The players are divided equally in six teams and are ready to enthrall in the upcoming season.
What benefits the PSL has given to Pakistan’s cricket?
If we flashback to 2009 when the unfortunate terrorist attack took place, which in result closed the doors for international cricket on Pakistan, so I think the biggest achievement done after the PSL was the resumption of high-profile international cricket in Pakistan after almost eight years.
The main motive of the PSL was to provide a platform to the young emerging players of the country. However, the league already has found some top quality young guns like Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, M Nawaz and many others.
The young combination of the National team was also the main reason behind the champions trophy triumph.
The league also become a much needed identity for the country and played a major role to lift country’s cricket status.
After the India Pakistan match, the PSL was something everyone took time out for. Last year’s final match between Quetta and Peshawar marked record viewership around the world.
All credit goes to the PCB’s efforts, which played a key role for the resumption of international cricket in the country. The current Chairman PCB Najam Sethi is the actual man behind this big achievement.
We know that the last year’s PSL was trapped in fixing scandals which flawed the image of the league.
What was the reason behind the fixing scandal? This question is still unanswerable but the good thing is that the players who were involved faced serious punishments.
The PCB should take some bold steps to avoid fixing from the league otherwise it would harm its image.
The big thing which is going to happen in this year’s PSL, is the final which is set to be held in Karachi. The Karachiites would witness the live international match after a long time.
Millions of fans from the biggest city of Pakistan were eagerly waiting for this day to come. This finale is going to be a historic moment in Pakistan’s cricket history.
We all are looking forward to the PSL 3 and hope that this edition will find some more top quality players for the national team.
Story first published: 24th February 2018