International Cricket back in Pakistan

International Cricket back in Pakistan

In 2009 international cricket banned in Pakistan because of that horrific attack on the Sir Lanka team bus outside the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore. From the last few years, there have been major changes in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan. In 2015 Zimbabwe toured Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and West Indies also turned in Pakistan in 2017 -2018.

Psl Cricket leagues have made modern cricket much more fascinating & exciting in the last few years. With all other major cricketing nations having their leagues, the Pakistani cricket need to have one too.

Pakistan Super League PSL

Pakistan Cricket Board had been planning to organize the Pakistan Super League (PSL) for many years. After 2 unsuccessful attempts, the PSL was finally announce on 9 September 2015 in Lahore by Pakistan Cricket Board.

The Pakistan Super League itself is a breakthrough for Pakistan cricket. It not only has paved the way to open the gates of international cricket in the country but has also served as an excellent platform for domestic cricketers to show their potential.

The Pakistani cricket fans seem so happy to have their league and to be able to watch cricket in their home ground. Many international star cricketers have visited Pakistan, and many more are willing to visit in the future. The likes of Darren Sammy, Tamim Iqbal, Thisara Perera, Marlon Samuels, David Malan, Chris Jordan, Luke Ronchi, and JP Duminy are a few to name who came to Pakistan to play for their sides in different editions of PSL.

Role of PSL in Pakistan international cricket

One of the significant impacts of PSL is the emerging talent that Pakistan cricket has discovered. Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Muhammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Hussain Talat are the ones who have already debuted for the national team.

The earlier mentioned players were also the ones who played a vital role in clinching Champions Trophy final against the arch-rivals, India.

The rise in popularity over the Years

The PCB sold commercial rights to the franchises for US$93 million for 10 years in 2015. In 2016, after the successful completion of the first edition, the market value of PSL was claim to be US$300 million by Arif Habib, member of the PSL Governing Council.

PSL in the last 4 years. PSL has become a brand since it has been launching in 2015. It has got bigger and bigger after each of its consecutive successful editions over the past 4 years.

First Edition 

The Inaugural Edition was held in 2016, which includ 5 teams. The whole league was held in UAE because of security concerns in Pakistan. A total of 24 matches were playing. The final, which was held in Dubai International Stadium, saw the Misbah ul Haq led Islamabad United claiming an easy victory over Sarfaraz Ahmed’s Quetta Gladiators.

Second Edition 

The Second Edition also comprised of 5 teams and 24 matches. But this time, the final was held in Pakistan. It was 5 March 2017, when the Qaddafi Stadium held one of the historic matches in Pakistani cricket history.It was again Quetta Gladiators in the final facing their rivals and also tournament favorites, Peshawar Zalmi. The tournament favorites Zalmis didn’t disappoint their fans and won the league after quite a one-sided final.

Third Edition 

3rd Edition of PSL was held in February – March of 2018. With the addition of a new team – Multan Sultans, this time, the number of matches was increase to 34, out of which 3 were held in Pakistan. The historic National Stadium Karachi was honor to hold the final.

The other two matches, Eliminator and Qualifier 2 were hosted by Lahore’s Qaddafi Stadium. The final was a battle between two of the former league winners – Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United. Despite being a weak side comparatively, Zalmi gave quite a tough time to United, but the United kept their nerves, and the match ended in their favor. Islamabad was victorious for the second time.

FOuth Edition

4 edition of PSL held from 14 March to 17 March. the Best part of this tournament when international flavors ad in 2019. The last year 2019, according to PCB, promises bigger, better, and exciting than the last 3 editions. In this Edition, Lahore Qalandars shows the worst performance of the tournament. Karachi Kings has the second-worst performance record among the tournament. Quetta Gladiators are the team who consider as the unlucky in all tournaments.

They have reached 2 finals in a row, but they are yet to win a title. Islamabad United are the most successful team of the tournament and having won’t it twice in the past three editions. Peshawar Zalmi were the champions of 2017 and would be looking for another strong showing this year. They have the second-best team of the tournament. Multan Sultans new team has seen several big names joining it like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik.

Multan Sultans supporters in Multan Cricket Stadium
Multan Sultans supporters in Multan Cricket Stadium on 26th Feb 2020

Fifth Edition 

This year, we expect that Lahore Qalandars show bather results. PSL 5 tournament will held entirely in Pakistan. 34 matches will be played in four venues Karachi, Lahore Rawalpindi & Multan. Huge expectations with spectators are to come to the stadium in support of their teams and cricket in Pakistan. We will see them in numbers wearing their favorite PSL team Shirts.

Conclusion

PCB this year starts with local events and promote them at a local level but treat them as full-scale international events. While it’s true that Pakistan is far from totally safe right now, there has been no major terrorist action in the past one year, so It holds International Cricket will be much safer than it was last time when Zimbabwe came in May 2015. Even at that time, it seemed that the event was held for the sake of reviving international cricket, and it’s safe to say we weren’t ready for it. 

Besides foreign teams and cricket boards, this has created insecurity in public and potential audience. So, events need to start from the ground up. Club level events need to occur in stadiums and all cities, not just Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, and Multan. The PSL, if held properly this year with full security, will be a great chance to show ICC that international tours are a viable option. After that tours and if all goes well, even major events like Asia and World cup won’t be out of grasp in the next 5 years.

4 thoughts on “International Cricket back in Pakistan

  1. Salman Yousaf says:

    Great to see PSL back in Pakistan. Hoping for major ACC & ICC tournaments as well to return to Pakistan in near future.

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