Ashraf Ali Siddiqui talks about an interesting
This is the year of the 50-over international World Cup and so the 20-over domestic tournament eight months before the big event may well determine who fills a few of the spots up for grabs in the Pakistan team. PSL has come up well as a domestic tournament gaining considerable traction in the cricketing world. PSL season is a professional Twenty20 cricket league contested during February and March of every year by six teams representing six cities of Pakistan. The league was founded on 9 September 2015 with five teams by the Pakistan Cricket Board. After several years of planning and two previous failed attempts PSL officially began on 4 February 2016 in the United Arab Emirates.
Instead of operating as an association of independently-owned teams, the league is a single entity in which each franchise is owned and controlled by investors. Each team plays the group stage matches in a double round robin format; the top four teams with the most points qualify for the playoffs, culminating in the final. There have been seven seasons of PSL. Islamabad United won 2 titles, making it the most successful team of PSL. The current champions are Lahore Qalandars who won the 2022 season.
The first two seasons included five teams based on the capital cities of Pakistan’s provinces and the Federal capital. In its first season the PSL had a higher percentage of international players. The league uses a draft system for player recruitment similar to that used in many North American professional sports leagues and as opposed to the auction system used in some other T20 leagues. The PSL’s official logo was launched on 20 September 2015 in a ceremony in Lahore and was revealed by 3Di.The ceremony was attended by current and retired cricketers as well as Pakistani celebrities.
The exhibition match between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi at Quetta’s Bugti Stadium set the tone for the upcoming Pakistan Super League. The eighth season of the country’s marquee cricket league is opened and when the final is played in Lahore on 19 March it will mark the culmination of the first full PSL in Pakistan with matches at four venues. Karachi and Rawalpindi are the other two but fans in Quetta will have to wait till at least the next edition for the extravaganza to come to town. Still, the exhibition match was a step towards cricket revival in the city.
PSL has provided a launching pad for several of the team’s current stars and for them, hitting top form will be key. A busy calendar awaits them after PSL with a home series against New Zealand before the tour of Sri Lanka. The Asia Cup, scheduled to be hosted in Pakistan but the venue for which will be confirmed later, is set for September before the ODI World Cup. That is the title on which most will focus but PSL’s top performers will need to make a smooth transition from the T20 format to the 50-over one. PSL contributed to Pakistan’s last world title, the Champions Trophy in 2017, and the hope is that this year’s edition can help the team win the ODI World Cup for the first time since 1992. TW