The third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) culminated with a glittering final at the National Stadium in Karachi on Sunday. At the end of the month-long T20 competition, Islamabad United captured their second PSL title with an entertaining three-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi in front of a jam packed crowd in Pakistan’s largest city.
Here, we take a look at the three things learnt from the third edition of the PSL.
PROMISE OF AN EVEN GREATER FUTURE
While the inaugural edition of the PSL was held exclusively in the UAE, the second edition was the finals was held at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore amidst water-tight security. With Pakistan still reeling from the effects of Sri Lanka’s ill-fated tour in 2009, the Lahore finals represented a watershed moment. The city would later go on to host the ICC World XI for a historic T20I series later before hosting a one-off game between Pakistan and Sri Lanka
This year, Karachi was added to the roster for the PSL with the finals being awarded to the city. It delivered in style as fans got to see international stars playing in front of them after eternity.
The small baby steps have been paying off for Pakistan cricket and PCB chief Najam Sethi is confident of hosting at least half the matches in the country next year. With how smoothly things have gone so far, it is not outside the realms of possibilities to see that happening.
NEED FOR COMMITMENT FROM INTERNATIONAL STARS
With many overseas recruits in the various franchises opting to skip the Pakistan leg due to security concerns, Pakistan fans have been robbed off the chance to witness their stars up close. Plenty of former players including Moin Khan have raised their objection to this practice.
There have been rising calls to only contract those foreign players who are willing to make the travel to Pakistan when the need arises. It is hard to disagree with that view if the PSL really wants to move forward as the spectacle gets slightly diluted in the absence of the major stars.
PSL CONTINUES TO SERVE AS SPRINGBOARD FOR FRESH TALENT
The PSL has served as a platform to launch several young Pakistan stars into the national reckoning and limelight in the past two editions. The likes of Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali are two such stars who have emerged out of the competition. This year too, the likes of young pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hussain Talat, Hasan Khan and Mohammed Irfan have all announced themselves to the world with their performances.
Young Afridi is already attracting interest from a couple of Big Bash League (BBL) franchises. It would not be surprising to see a few of these names make their Pakistan senior debut very soon in the limited-overs format.
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