PCB says contracted Pakistan players will not be allowed to participate in T20 leagues held in UAE

Waseem Ahmed 13/06/2018
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Pakistan Cricket Board 's Chairman: Najam Sethi

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday announced that no centrally contracted players will be allowed to participate in any T20 leagues held in the UAE.

This decision from the PCB has come on the heels of UAE announcing their own T20 League despite opposition from Pakistan cricket’s governing body.

The announcement also means that contracted Pakistan players will be unable to participate in the Afghanistan T20 League which is also slated to be held in the UAE for its inaugural edition.

“The Governing Council expressed its concerns over a newly-announced T20 league taking place in the UAE. It was decided that the PCB will not allow any contracted players to take part in any T20 league taking place in the UAE other than Pakistan Super League (PSL),” a statement from the PCB said after a meeting held by the PSL governing council.

While Pakistan players will be unable to play in an T20 leagues held in the UAE, the decision of allowing contracted players to participate in the T10 League has been left to the discretion of head coach Mickey Arthur.

The T10 League was launched in the UAE Last year with PCB chief Najam Sethi throwing his full support behind the endeavor.  The likes of Mohammad Amir and Fakhar Zaman had been made available to the 10-over league in the first edition.

The PSL governing council has also decided to increase the salary cap for PSL squads from the next edition onwards. Meanwhile, continued efforts will be made to increase the number of PSL matches which will held back home in Pakistan from the coming edition.

“All franchises expressed full confidence in the PCB’s attempts to bring more PSL matches to Pakistan. It was decided that at least eight matches will be held in Pakistan next year,” a part of the statement stated.

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Overwhelming support for Pakistan cricket as Twitter reacts to the PSL finals in Karachi

Waseem Ahmed 26/03/2018
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Islamabad United won their second PSL title on Sunday.

Karachi was the centre of attention in the cricketing world on Sunday as the city played host to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) finals.

In what was the biggest cricket match in Karachi in over nine years, Islamabad United pipped Peshawar Zalmi to the title by three wickets in front of a packed house at the National Stadium.

Having not hosted an international cricket match since Pakistan’s ill-fated Test against Sri Lanka in 2009, Karachi was lit up to welcome the return of world-class cricket.

Even hours before the start of play, fans could be seen queuing outside the stadium as droves of thousands turned up to see their favourite stars in action.

A celebratory atmosphere enveloped the stadium as Karachi fans quenched their thirst for international cricket.

The PSL finals was trending worldwide on Twitter as fans shared their reactions to see cricket return to the city. Former Pakistan all-rounder and fan favourite Shahid Afridi was one of the first to chime in with his thanks for everyone involved in making the finals a success.

Legendary Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar congratulated Islamabad for winning their second title, terming the finals as a win for Pakistan cricket.

His sentiments were echoed by many on social media with Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanveer, Junaid Khan and Tymal Mills trumpeting the same thought.

Islamabad United’s hero Luke Ronchi also congratulated his team-mates for their efforts as he praised the tournament.

Even British boxer Amir Khan did not miss out on congratulating the victors on the night.

Elsewhere, Pakistan cricket fans shared their delight in seeing cricket return to Karachi. The theme throughout social media was loud and clear – that Pakistan had been the real winner of the night.

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Luke Ronchi and Faheem Ashraf among the players that makes our PSL Team of the Year

Denzil Pinto 26/03/2018
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Scoring the runs: Luke Ronchi. Image: @ThePSLt20

After four weeks and 34 matches, it was Islamabad United who were crowned champions of the Pakistan Super League for the second time following their three-wicket victory over 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi on Sunday night.

Like the previous two editions, there have been some exceptional displays from elite and upcoming cricketers and 2018 was no different.

Whether it was Kamran Akmal’s big-hitting or Imran Tahir’s hat-trick, the third edition was another massive hit with the players playing their part in putting on a spectacle.

With the competition done and dusted for another 12 months, we look at the players who have made our Team of the tournament in 2018…

CAPTAIN: SHAHID AFRIDI, KARACHI KINGS

Matches: 10
Runs: 47, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
Wickets: 13

Produced one of the best moments in the tournament with that stunning catch against Quetta Gladiators and while he didn’t have the best of times with the bat, he was effective with the ball. The vice-captain was promoted to skipper for the last four games and although Kings couldn’t reach the final in their home city, he was a key wicket-taker even after missing three matches.

KAMRAN AKMAL, PESHAWAR ZALMI

Matches: 13
Runs: 425, 100s: 1, 50s: 4, HS: 107*

He didn’t have the best of times in the final with that dropped catch and a single run but the 36-year-old can look back on a positive campaign. Finished second highest scorer and is the only man to have reached triple figures. Also hit the fastest fifty in the history of PSL off just 17 balls against Karachi Kings.

LUKE RONCHI, ISLAMABAD UNITED

Matches: 11
Runs: 435, 100s: 0, 50s: 5, HS: 94*

After scores of 3 and 0 in his first two games, the ex-New Zealand batsman bounced back in style to end the season as a PSL winner and top-scorer. Stole the show in the Eliminator in Dubai with a stunning 94 off 34 deliveries against Karachi Kings before hitting the fourth fastest 50 in PSL off 25 balls. Finished with a strike rate of 182.00.

BABAR AZAM, KARACHI KINGS

Matches: 12
Runs: 402, 100s: 0, 50s: 5, HS: 66

Already has impressed at international level in the 50-over format and the 23-year-old again showed his potential in T20s. Used either to open the batting or at No.3, Azam was one of the consistent batsmen for Karachi Kings. Scored three consecutive half-centuries and added to that tally with his final knock against Peshawar Zalmi.

FAKHAR ZAMAN, LAHORE QALANDARS

Matches: 10
Runs: 277, 100s: 0, 50s: 1, HS: 94

With a team boasting the likes of Brendon McCullum, it would’ve needed a series of fine efforts to finish as his side’s top batsman and that’s exactly what Zaman did. In a disappointing season for Lahore Qalandars, the 27-year-old hit 49 in his first game but his best was to come with his 94 in the victory over Quetta Gladiators.

SHANE WATSON, QUETTA GLADIATORS

Matches: 10
Runs: 319, 100s: 0, 50s: 2, HS: 90*
Wickets: 11

The Australian showed once again of his all-round abilities with a series of superb displays with the bat and ball. The 36-year-old took three wickets in his opening game and managed to get a scalp each in nine of his 10 matches. With the bat, played an instrumental role to seal a play-off spot.

KUMAR SANGAKKARA, MULTAN SULTANS

Matches: 10
Runs: 269, 100s: 0, 50s: 3, HS: 63
Catches: 9 Stumping: 1

The Sri Lankan is still proving he still has what it takes to be competitive on the biggest stages. Smashed three half-centuries in his first four matches and although the runs dried towards the end, finished as eighth highest scorer. The 40-year-old was also handy behing the stumps, with nine catches.

IMRAN TAHIR, MULTAN SULTANS

Matches: 10
Wickets: 13, Economy: 7.24

Playing in his first-ever PSL, the South African rose to the occasion in the UAE. Despite being the joint-fourth best wicket-taker in the tournament, the leg-spinner became the third cricketer in PSL history to take a hat-trick against Quetta Gladiators and regularly took wickets as Multan Sultans missed out on the play-offs by one point.

FAHEEM ASHRAF, ISLAMABAD UNITED

Matches: 12
Wickets: 18, Economy: 7.75

A man who only made his T20I debut in the World Series last September, Ashraf is continuing to thrive. The 24-year-old medium-pacer was a constant threat for the batsmen and even bowled a maiden. Was rewarded with 18 scalps – the joint-highest of the competition but ironically hit the winning runs to clinch the title.

WAHAB RIAZ, PESHAWAR ZALMI

Matches: 13
Wickets: 18, Economy: 6.90

Peshawar Zalmi’s best bowler by some distance and joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament, Riaz was just unfortunate to settle for a runners-up medal. At a time, when a result was needed in a patchy campaign, the 32-year-old left-armer took matters in his own hands to take charge with the ball and deliver.

USMAN KHAN, KARACHI KINGS

Matches: 10
Wickets: 16, Economy: 8.02

Having returned from a back injury, the 24-year-old gave the opposing batsmen a taste of their own medicine on more than one occassion. With an array of bowling talent in the team with the likes of Mohammad Amir, Tymal Mills, Shahid Afridi and Imad Wasim, Usman upstaged them all to finish as his side’s top wicket-taker in the competition.

12TH MAN – SAMIT PATEL, ISLAMABAD UNITED

Matches: 9
Runs: 56, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
Wickets: 13 , Economy: 6.96

For someone who was only drafted into the squad after Asela Gunaratne opted out, the Englishman certainly played a big part for the newly-crowned champions. Runs were hard to come by but with the ball, he did the job even in fewer games than his rivals with 13 scalps.

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