Pakistan will soon be starting its first professional sports league along the lines of for-profit sports leagues like Major League Baseball (MLB) or National Football League (NFL) in the United States.
IPL (Indian Premier League) was the first such league in the cricket world. It was started by India's Lalit Modi who studied professional sports business at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Several other countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, England, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Caribbean nations (West Indies), followed suit with their own versions of premier league. Pakistan is the latest country to join this movement with its own league called PSL or Pakistan Super League.
Pakistan is the 2nd largest cricket market after India in terms of viewership. It's the 4th largest market after India, England and Australia in revenue terms.
The launch of Pakistan Super League (PSL) will help significantly increase cricketing revenue and put Pakistan in second place in revenue terms. It will also help generate revue for Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to promote domestic cricket in the country.
There are five categories of players being recruited to be part of PSL — Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver and Emerging.
PSL has already signed up top international cricket stars like Kevin Peterson (England), Chris Gayle (West Indies) , Brad Haddin (Australia), Grant Elliot (New Zealand) , James Franklin (New Zealand), Brad Hogg (Australia), Shakibul Hasan (Bangladesh), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies), Sunil Naraine (West Indies) and Ravi Bopara (England) . Other names will soon be revealed. Several top international coaches have also agreed to join.
The star power is attracting major broadcasters to bid for media rights in different regions of the world. Broadcasters can expect high advertising rates with many big international stars playing in each team. In addition, big businesses will provide funding as sponsors of league matches.
Each team will have a salary cap of about $1 million for about 3 weeks of work. PSL will comprise of just 24 matches, with each team playing the other twice. Each tournament will end in less than a month.
There will be 4 foreign players and 2 under-19 Pakistani players in each of the 5 team currently in the works. The rest of the teams will be made up of Pakistani players who are now playing at the national level and the first class matches. The teams are: Islamabad Blasters, Karachi Super Stars, Lahore Warriors, Peshawar Kings, Quetta Challengers. 80% of the league's revenue will be shared among the franchisees.
Under-19 Pakistani players will receive Rs. 2.5 million fees for 3 months of play. This will encourage more talent to compete and help improve the quality of young players in the country.
Pakistan Super League is expected to be played in February 2016 in Dubai and Sharjah stadiums in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It's the best thing to happen to Pakistan cricket in a long time. Let's hope that the security situation will soon allow future tournaments to be played on Pakistani soil.
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#Pakistan to Launch T20 #Cricket Super League http://on.wsj.com/1MWL3JD via @WSJIndia
Top cricketers are lining up to take part in Pakistan’s first Twenty20 cricket league starting next year, officials said, hoping to boost the standard of the sport in the country and the fortunes of its national team.
The Pakistan Super League, with total prize money of $1 million, will be an annual competition of Twenty20-format cricket, like the Indian Premier League, and will be held Feb. 4 to Feb. 24 next year.
But despite the name, and because of security concerns, the league won’t actually be played in Pakistan. All games will take place in the United Arab Emirates.
In its first year, the Pakistan Cricket Board said, the league will have five franchises, one from each of the cricket-mad country’s four provinces, and the fifth representing the capital Islamabad.
“When it’s launched, this will be the second-top league in the world,” said Najam Sethi, chairman of the PSL’s governing council, on Sunday. “India, Pakistan, [the] Middle East, our populations are so huge and there’s such interest in watching cricket that the financial feasibility is fulfilled just by them.”
Twenty20 is the shortest official format of the sport, with both sides playing 20 overs each, compared with 50 overs each in one-day internationals or five-day test matches.
In recent years, it has also been the most commercially successful form of the game because of its fast pace and intensity, as teams try to score maximum runs in the short time allotted.
In addition to India, other major cricket-playing nations like Australia and England have also set up professional Twenty20 leagues in recent years. Pakistani officials have privately described the league as “critical” for cricket in the country.
Pakistan hasn’t hosted a major sporting event since the Sri Lankan national cricket team was attacked while on the way to a game in Lahore by militants in 2009. Foreign teams refused to visit citing fears over security. Earlier this year, Zimbabwe became the first international team to play cricket in Pakistan in six years.
The country’s isolation from the global sports circuit has not only resulted in revenue losses worth millions of dollars, but has also stunted the development of Pakistani cricketers, officials say.
“The experience [Pakistani players] will get, playing with different players from around the world…in different teams, will be good for Pakistan,” said Wasim Akram, former national team captain.
Mr. Sethi of the Pakistan Cricket Board said “around 120” foreign players have signed on to be part of the draft, including high-profile cricketers like England’s Kevin Pietersen and Chris Gayle from the West Indies.
“Absolutely buzzing to be a part of the Pakistani mela [festival] coming up in February,” Mr. Pietersen said in a video posted on the league’s official Facebook page last week.
Securing top players is crucial to ensuring the interest of broadcasters and advertisers, officials said, with rights to be awarded in the coming weeks.
The tournament will be played at two venues in the U.A.E.—Dubai and Sharjah—where Pakistani cricket authorities hope to attract large crowds.
“In the one-day and Twenty20 format matches we have played in the U.A.E. in recent years, most have been sell-outs,” one official said. “It’s not just the hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis there. [The] U.A.E. is a huge cricket market with fans from all over the world.”
#Pakistan qualify, #Windies out of Champions Trophy 2017 #Cricket #England #India #Bangladesh #Australia #NewZealand http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/34402169 …
West Indies will not take part in the 2017 Champions Trophy after Pakistan pipped them to eighth place in the International Cricket Council's one-day rankings at the 30 September cut-off.
Only the top eight teams on that date will compete in the tournament.
As well as Pakistan, Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will join hosts England.
Bangladesh, who were last involved in the event in 2006, made sure of their place by beating South Africa in July.
The Windies, who won the Champions Trophy in 2004, suspended coach Phil Simmons on Monday for criticising selectors.
It is the first time they have missed out on a Champions Trophy, World Cup or T20 World Cup tournament.
At the World Cup earlier this year, they were thrashed by New Zealand in the quarter-finals, while Pakistan, India, England and South Africa have all beaten them in ODI series over the past two years.
The next cut-off date for teams is 30 September 2017 - when the top eight one-day sides will earn automatic entry to the 2019 World Cup, which will also take place in the UK.
It's sad to see so much interest for cricket in the Indian sub continent countries. This is clearly reflected in olympics when India Pakistan Bangladesh Sri Lanka get almost no medals in any sports in real sporting events.
There are only max 10 nations in the word which take cricket so seriously. Even in uk it's misty popular there days with people of Indian sub continent.
It's high time our nations concentrate on real sports like football hockey basketball volley ball athletics gymnastics wrestling boxing cycling swimming table tennis badminton tennis etc.
Cricket golf and the likes are games played by lazy people.
#FATA make it to #Pakistan's first-class #cricket tournament http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/story/927167.html …
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have qualified for the main round of Pakistan's premier first-class tournament, the Quaid-e-Azam trophy. FATA, a rural part of the country, was given full regional status only in 2013 by the then PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, making their qualification very significant.
They won their three qualifying matches, by significant margins of nine wickets against Abbottabad, 10 wickets against Faisalabad and, today, by 81 runs against Karachi Blues, to confirm their berth in the main round.
The PCB recently revamped the format of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, from last season's 26-team tournament to a new structure that comprises 16 teams - eight regional and eight departmental sides. Of the 16 teams, 12 - six regional and six departmental - gain automatic qualification on the basis of their performance last season. The last four places are filled through a qualifying round - two regional and two departmental teams - from which FATA made their way into the top competition. Lahore Blues are the other regional team promoted into the first-class competition.
"FATA's promotion to Grade I showed it was producing some splendid players and that reflected in their performances with both bat and ball," PCB chairman, Shaharyar Khan, said. "FATA's defeating Abbottabad, Faisalabad and now Karachi so convincingly is reflective of talent as well as the hard work of the players, coaching staff and management of the region. On our first circuit, the FATA Region's cricketers would get greater opportunities to express themselves while playing against the more accomplished outfits on our domestic circuit."
FATA includes 10 districts and tribal agencies including the North and South Waziristan. It borders provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and, a major chunk, with Afghanistan. The region qualified after managing to pick up players from their own region and not from any other part of the country, despite the game being much less developed here than in the rest of the country. The main tournament in the region before this was an annual inter-district cricket tournament.
#Pakistan Super League: #Karachi attracts highest bid as 5 teams sold for $93 million. #cricket #PSL http://www.emirates247.com/sports/cricket/pakistan-super-league-karachi-attracts-highest-bid-as-teams-sold-for-93-million-2015-12-03-1.612708 …
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sold five franchise rights for the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL) for $93 million for a period of 10 years.
Five companies bought the Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad, and Quetta teams.
Salman Iqbal, CEO of ARY Group, successfully bought the Karachi franchise for an undisclosed amount while Quetta’s rights were sold to Omar Associates.
Qatar Oil snapped up the Lahore franchise, Leonine Global Sports bought Islamabad bought the Islamabad team while Javed Afridi, CEO of Haier Group and a long-timer partner of Pakistan cricket, won rights for the Peshawar franchise.
“This is a major achievement in our PSL journey. The best part is that all team owners are ardent cricket fans and their dedication will make this league a success,” Najam Sethi, chairman of the PSL, said.
Sethi says coaches will be chosen over the next 10 days, and players' draft will be held later this month.
In another development, Habib Bank Limited (HBL) joined the PSL as title sponsor for the first three years of the league.
As a result of this partnership, the league will now officially be known as the HBL Pakistan Super League.
"HBL’s association with Pakistan Super League is another indication of established brands partnering with the league,” said Sethi.
Having reserved production rights to ensure international standard coverage, PSL’s broadcast arrangements have also been finalised for the next three years with Sunset+Vine as the producers.
Matches will be aired in Pakistan on Ten Sports and PTV Sports. Global TV rights for the same duration have been sold to Tech Front, a UAE-based media rights acquisition company.
Commenting on this development, Najam Sethi said: “Having awarded production rights to Sunset+Vine, the next step was to ensure that we get the maximum number of eyeballs and I would like to welcome our media rights partners.”
“The sale of all commercial rights - broadcast, franchise, and sponsorship - is perfectly in line with the league’s budgetary estimates,” added Sethi.
The first edition of the PSL will take place from February 4 to 23 with matches taking place in Dubai and Sharjah.
Two Australians among 10 BBL players picked up on opening day of Pakistan Super League draft
Australian allrounder Shane Watson and former Test and ODI wicketkeeper Brad Haddin have been picked by Islamabad United on the opening day of the Pakistan Super League draft, held in Lahore on Monday. The Aussie duo, currently playing in the KFC Big Bash League, will join forces for the Islamabad franchise in the first edition of Pakistan’s T20 league, scheduled to take place in the UAE from February 4 to 23. Watson was picked from the top 'Icon' category of players, which has price tag of 200,000 USD, whereas Haddin was selected from the Diamond category (70,000 USD). Haddin was originally placed in the Platinum category (140,000 USD) but slipped to Diamond after going unpicked in the first three rounds. Islamabad United will be coached by former Australia Test and ODI batsman Dean Jones, while Pakistan’s legendary bowler Wasim Akram will be their team director.
Australian fast bowler Brett Lee was not picked up, mainly due to his commitment with the Masters Champions League (MCL) in Feburary, while the other Australians who went unsold are also involved in the MCL; Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Shaun Tait and Ben Laughlin.
The first pick of the draft on Monday was no surprise, with Pakistan’s T20 captain Shahid Afridi snapped up by Peshawar Zalmi, who had traded their pick with Islamabad before the draft in bid to get the big-hitting allrounder. Another Pakistan allrounder and former captain Shoaib Malik was bagged by Karachi Kings as an Icon player. The remaining two Icon players picked up were Kevin Pietersen and Chris Gayle, who will play for Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars respectively.
In some other marquee signings, Peshawar bagged former World T20 winning captain Darren Sammy, Karachi picked up Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, Islamabad pocketed the IPL 2015’s player of the tournament Andre Russell and Lahore Qalandars went for IPL 2015’s leading wickettaker Dwyane Bravo.
Ten of the players picked up on the opening day are currently playing the in Big Bash League in Australia. The returning fast bowler Mohammad Aamir, who was in the Golden Catgeory (50,000 USD), was picked by Karachi as soon as he became available. None of the Sri Lankans were picked from the draft as most of them will only be available for part of the tournament; Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have signed with the MCL and will be unavailable until February 14, while current players like Tillakaratne Dilshan, Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera will be on international assignment in India.
The other notable players not picked up were Pakistan’s World T20 winning captain Younis Khan, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, England duo James Anderson and Ian Bell and Kiwi opener Jesse Ryder. Afridi (Peshawar), Malik (Karachi), Sarfraz Ahmad (Quetta), Misbah-ul-Haq (Islamabad) are likely to captain their respective franchises, while Lahore - having not picked an experienced local player - appears to be the only team that may go with an overseas player as captain.
PAKISTAN SUPER LEAGUE DRAFT
Peshawar Zalmi Overseas: Darren Sammy, Chris Jordan, Tamim Iqbal, Jim Allenby, Dawid Malan, Brad Hodge Local: Shahid Afridi (icon), Wahab Riaz, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Junaid Khan, Aamer Yamin, Imran Khan Jr., Shahid Yousuf, Abdur Rehman, Musadiq Ahmed, Hassan Ali, Asghar, Israrullah, Taj Wali
Karachi Kings Overseas: Shakib Al Hasan, Ravi Bopara, Lendl Simmons, James Vince, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tillakaratne Dilshan Local: Shoaib Malik (icon), Sohail Tanvir, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Aamir, Bilawal Bhatti, Iftikhar Ahmad, Nauman Anwar, Usama Mir, Sohail Khan, Mir Hamza, Saifullah Bangash, Shahzaib Hassan, Fawad Alam
Islamabad United Overseas: Shane Watson (icon), Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, Brad Haddin, Sam Billings, Ashar Zaidi Local: Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Irfan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Imran Khalid, Kamran Ghulam, Umar Amin, Rumman Raees, Amad Butt, Saeed Ajmal, Hussain Talat, Umar Siddique
Quetta Gladiators Overseas: Kevin Pietersen (icon), Jason Holder, Luke Wright, Elton Chigumbura, Mohammad Nabia, Kumar Sangakkara Local: Sarfraz Ahmad, Ahmad Shahzad, Anwar Ali, Zulfiqar Babar, Umar Gul, Bilal Asif, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Nawaz, Saad Nasim, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Bismillah Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Ramiz Raja Jr.
Lahore Qalandars Overseas: Chris Gayle (icon), Dwyane Bravo, Mustafizur Rehman, Kevon Cooper, Cameron Delport Local: Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Sohaib Maqsood, Zafar Gohar, Hammad Azam, Zia-ul-Haq, Zohaib Khan, Azhar Ali, Naved Yasin, Adnan Rasool, Abdul Razzaq, Mukhtar Ahmad, Ehsan Adil, Imran Butt
very good blog sir .....
Thanks for sharing.....
Watson misfires in #Pakistan Super League's historic match #PSLrocksCricket #ISLAMABADvQUETTA http://www.foxsports.com.au/foxsports/cricket/pakistan-super-league-2016-live-video-stream-of-islamabad-united-v-quetta-gladiators/news-story/3d1e381e59fc2044b858a5af5d340172 … via @foxsportsaus
Watson, one of the most sought-after commodities on the Twenty20 market, couldn’t get Islamabad United over the line against a strong Quetta Gladiators line-up.
The Australian all-rounder, who just a few days ago made a century in a T20 International against India at the SCG, opened the batting for Islamabad and hit the first boundary in the tournament’s history.
But a short while later he was trudging back to the pavilion after missing an attempted pull shot off young spinner Mohammad Nawaz and being bowled for a frustrating 15 off 27 balls.
Nawaz finished with stunning figures of 4-13 off four overs to help restrict Islamabad to just 7-128 - a score that would have been worse if not for some big hitting late in the innings from captain Misbah-ul-Haq (41 off 28) and Sydney Thunder’s West Indian sensation Andre Russell (35 off 20).
However the runs were nowhere near enough to stop the Gladiators from storming to victory with eight wickets to spare.
Englishman Luke Wright, who plays for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, was the standout batsman with 86 runs from just 53 balls, an innings that featured 11 fours and four sixes.
Pietersen was trapped lbw by Pakistani journeyman Imran Khalid before Nawaz returned to cap a memorable game by scoring 22 not out as Quetta cruised to victory with four overs remaining.
The End of #ICC Big 3: Big Blow to #India, #Australia, #England #cricket governance http://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?page=read&id=36781 …
DUBAI - The boards of India, England and Australia will no longer be permanent members of the International Cricket Council's decision-making executive committee, the governing body said on Thursday.
The ICC approved wide-ranging changes in 2014, giving the three powerful nations permanent seats in its executive committee and the lion's share of the revenue while also promising more funds for everyone.
After taking over the reins at the ICC last year, Indian cricket board president Shashank Manohar flayed the imbalance of power and criticised the 2014 restructuring.
"The board has agreed to carry out a complete review of the 2014 resolutions and constitutional changes," the governing body said in a statement following a board meeting held at its Dubai headquarters on Thursday.
The ICC received widespread criticism two years ago with some suggesting the 'Big Three' would take over the sport at the expense of the other cricketing nations.
The governing body's constitution is also to be completely reviewed and all members asked to provide feedback in the next few weeks, it said.
"No member of the ICC is bigger than the other and I am determined to make a meaningful contribution in this regard with support of all the members," Manohar said before adding the ICC chairman would not be allowed to hold a position in a member country board in future.
The ICC has also reinstated Sri Lanka as a full member after the country held elections last month to appoint a new organisation to run the sport.
Sri Lanka had previously been sanctioned for government interference. - Nampa-Reuters
#Pakistan’s Road Warriors Are on Top of the #Cricket World http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/26/sports/cricket/pakistan-cricket-road-warriors-on-top-of-the-world.html?_r=0
London — Pakistan’s seven-year road trip has reached a destination few had forecast: a first-time No. 1 ranking by the International Cricket Council for five-day test matches.
Pakistan has been unable to play home tests since Sri Lanka’s team was attacked by terrorists on its way to a match in Lahore in March 2009. But it took the top spot Monday, when the match of the previous leader, India, against West Indies was effectively rained out in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
“There is no greater feeling than to achieve the number-one ranking in the most traditional and purest format of the sport,” Pakistan’s captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, told the ICC’s website. “This is what cricketers play for and want to achieve in their own careers.”
Waqar Younis, coach of the team until April 2016 and one of the greatest bowlers in Pakistan history, proclaimed “a proud moment for the whole nation.” Pakistan has never previously headed the rankings, which were introduced in 2003, although a retrospective calculation has placed it hypothetically on top for a very brief period in 1988.
The ranking also represents a huge personal achievement for Misbah, at 42 the oldest active international cricketer. He has been captain since 2010, when he was recalled to a team that was in hopeless disarray after the spot-fixing scandals that led to the banning and imprisonment of three players, including his predecessor, Salman Butt.
“I would rather give full credit to Misbah, who has shown resilience against his critics and never spoken a harsh word when things were going wrong,” Waqar said, when asked by ESPN Cricinfo about his own contribution to Pakistan’s success. “His honesty and good intent have made a huge difference, His positive intentions and his characteristics are outstanding.”
Misbah has also excelled as a batsman, scoring more than 2,200 runs at an average of 55 runs per dismissal in the 25 matches since May 2013 that count in Pakistan’s ranking. He found a remarkable lieutenant in another veteran, the 38-year-old former captain Younis Khan, who has scored nearly 2,800 runs at an average of just under 63 and played 11 innings of 100 or more — culminating in 218 in the victory over England at the Oval in London earlier this month that gave Pakistan its shot at No.1.
His team has reflected Misbah’s durability and resilience. Some critics have suggested that Pakistan’s excellent record at its home in exile in the United Arab Emirates means it has suffered little disadvantage, but Misbah rebuffed that argument after the victory at the Oval.
“Living every day away from your family and friends and playing every game away from Pakistan is really difficult. It is mentally tough,” he told journalists. “I can see my mother only once a year. I only see my sister once a year. We are out of the country all of the time.”
Pakistan has continued to grow talent. When its leading spin bowler Saeed Ajmal was banned in 2014 because of questions about his bowling action, the team called up Yasir Shah, who had no test match experience but has since taken 95 wickets in 16 matches and briefly topped world bowling rankings.
Its players, including the veterans, have confounded a previous stereotype by getting fit. They attended military training camps before the tour of England and celebrated memorable moments such as victory in the first match of the series, at London’s storied Lord’s ground, with displays of push-ups.
#Pakistan set world record of 373 runs to thrash #WestIndiesCricket in #T20 #BlindCricket2017 World Cup https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/185011-Pakistan-set-world-record-to-thrash-WI-in-T20-Blind-World-Cup …
Pakistan established new benchmark when they put highest T20 total of 373 runs on board in stipulated 20 overs eventually beating West Indies by 182 runs in the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup here at KSCA Ground.
Pakistan batted first in the match and scored massively from the very start. Pakistani openers —skipper Muhammad Jamil and Riasat Khan — set the tone for the eventual world record total scoring 122 runs in first six overs of fielding restrictions.
Muhammad Jamil was unstoppable scoring exactly 100 runs off 36 balls, sharing the second fastest century record in T20 internationals. He smashed 20 boundaries in his innings.
Riasat Khan, who scored a century on Tuesday, got run out after scoring 94 runs off 32 balls. Muhammad Zafar and Mohsin Khan contributed with unbeaten 42 and 36 runs respectively. For West Indies Ganesh Singh and Anthony Cummins claimed a wicket apiece.
In response, West Indies made 191 runs for the loss of nine wickets in allotted 20 overs. Dennal Shim was the highest scorer for West Indies with 59 runs and Phillips made 36 runs. Sajid Nawaz, Riasat Khan, Muhammad Akram, Anees Javed and Mohsin Khan claimed one wicket each.
Unbeaten Pakistan will now play their last league match against Australia on Thursday (today) in Bangalore.
‘#Pakistan safe’ #Zimbabwe all set to send #cricket team for tour in 2017. #PslFinalLahore http://www.chronicle.co.zw/pakistan-safe-zim-set-to-send-cricket-team-for-tour/ …
ISLAMABAD — Good news is pouring in after the huge success of Pakistan Super League (PSL)
final in Lahore.
The recent development is that Zimbabwe has signalled its intent to send its cricket squad to
It was announced by Zimbabwe Sport and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane, who held
a meeting with Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Co-ordination Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada.
Hlongwane was leading a delegation that called on the minister, a day after meeting the
country’s cricket board chairman Shaharyar Khan.
Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani is also in the delegation.
During the meeting, on behalf of the government of Pakistan, Pirzada formally invited the
Zimbabwe government to send a cricket team to Pakistan.
The Zimbabwe authorities positively responded to Pakistan’s invitation. Hlongwane assured that
he would ask his country’s cricket board to consider sending the team to Pakistan.
Hlongwane was of the view that Pakistan is a safe country for cricket.
He applauded the smooth conduct of the PSL nal
and thanked the government for foolproof
He also thanked the people of Pakistan for their warm hospitality. — Samaa.
Back From Exile, Pakistan's Cricket Push Lures Advertisers
The success of the (PSL Final) match (in Lahore) was a rare bit of good news for Pakistan’s cricket industry, which has lost millions of dollars in revenue since militants attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team to the same stadium in Lahore eight years ago. Companies including MCB Bank Ltd. and PepsiCo Inc. want to leverage the sport to reach out to fans in the cricket-crazy nation of 200 million people, where Euromonitor International estimates disposable income has more than doubled since 2010.
After successfully hosting the final, Pakistan is hoping to show investors it can safely hold and build a sports industry that’s a fraction of the size of neighboring rival India, home to cricket’s largest market. Only Zimbabwe has played an international match in Pakistan since the attack on the Sri Lankan team.
The PSL, which started holding fixtures a year ago, has a market value of up to $300 million, said Arif Habib, a business tycoon and PSL director. That could increase as much as five-fold if more matches were played at home, he said. That compares with London-based Brand Finance’s $3.5 billion valuation of the Indian Premier League. It would also be a positive signal to investors looking at the country’s security climate.
“That will encourage others to come here,” Habib said in an interview in his Karachi office decorated with cricket trophies. “The perception of Pakistan is worse than it really is.”
Introduced to the region during the colonial era by the British East India Company, cricket is the most popular sport in South Asia and is often said to be an obsession.
More companies are now lining up to put cash behind the Pakistan league. MCB Bank, the nation’s third-largest lender by market value, wants to enter with a “dominating” advertising position next season, following competitor Habib Bank Ltd., the current main sponsor, said Rais Ahmed Alvi, MCB’s head of marketing. That’s despite prices set to rise 50 percent next year, Alvi said.
Pakistan’s household consumption has risen to 80 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2015 from 68 percent in 1990, World Bank data show. That compares with 59 percent in India and a global average of 58 percent.
“There’s tremendous potential,” Shahryar Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and a former foreign secretary, said in an interview at the stadium. “The whole object of the exercise is to open the doors to foreign teams coming here and feeling relatively safe.”
Pakistan plans to build secure accommodation for international teams, with negotiations underway with Serena Hotels LLC for five-star lodging next to Karachi’s stadium, he said. When asked if there are now plans to bring back international games to Pakistan, the International Cricket Council said its board will consult with security experts and its Pakistan task team next month to decide on future steps.
Yet despite the purchase of bullet-proof vehicles and offers to foreign players of thousands of dollars, many of the international stars, including England’s Kevin Pietersen playing for Quetta Gladiators, refused to travel to Pakistan, where Peshawar Zalmi won the title.
Critics of the cash incentives for overseas players include Imran Khan, the 64-year-old former national cricket captain who led Pakistan to its only world cup victory in 1992.
Pakistan Super League stars credited with Pakistan's Champions Trophy win:
The change of captain, retirement of senior players and induction of talented youngsters into the team at the right time and age and two years of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai have all contributed.
The last changes in the side (exclusion of Wahab Riaz and Ahmad Shehzad and inclusion of Fakhar Zaman and Junaid Khan) made a difference. All of a sudden the world’s best bowling attack was born, restricting the top four teams (South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and India) to under 250. Gone were the complaints about the game being unfairly dominated by the bat, the scrutiny of bat sizes and 300 being a par score.
Before PSL, the jump from Pakistan’s first class cricket into international cricket was a huge one and many youngsters were found lacking. The PSL changed that. The bright stars of today’s Pakistan’s cricket like Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Sharjeel Khan, Ruman Raees (and many more) were already playing first class cricket in Pakistan. PSL polished them with top international players and coaches and readied them for the international arena.
Pakistan were hopeless at the start of the tournament and actually played like a number eight, which was their ranking when they came in the tournament. But their batting — often considered fragile —managed to post 338 for four with the help of a fabulous century by Fakhar Zaman who amassed 114 off 106 balls.
Zaman, who is a Mardan born and averages over 50 in 50 overs cricket, finished the tournament as he highest run getter for Pakistan after making most of his luck when he edged one off Jasprit Bumrah only to see that the bowler had overstepped.
Pakistan had gone 35 ODIs without a century stand before the semi-finals but Fakhar in partnership with Azhar Ali stitched back to back 100-run opening stands.
Pakistan’s comeback in the tournament was largely due to Fakhar’s effort at the top. It is remarkable that the left-handed opening batsman now has two 50s and a hundred in first four ODIs of his career.
India captain Virat Kohli in the press conference admitted that their plans didn’t work against Fakhar, even though the batsman was playing high risk shots.
Pakistan cricket is often termed mercurial however their four back to back wins have proved that they can be consistent performers too.
A nation that was written off before the start of the tournament managed to win hearts with the spirit of the youth.
Hasan Ali, the player of the tournament, took thirteen wickets which is joint-most with West Indies' Jerome Taylor in a one edition of the ICC Champions Trophy.
“I dedicate this victory to my mother who always fasts whenever I am playing," said Hasan after the victory.
He demonstrated an intelligent cricketing mind by using his pace variations and took regular wickets in the middle overs against South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and India.
Pakistan are often criticised for their lack of structure but have always been a team of momentum. If history is anything to go by their wins in tournaments have come at the back of peaking at the right time.
Junaid got eight wickets in the tournament and proved to be a great new ball user along with Mohammad Amir. He also played a vital role in the middle over by giving breakthroughs and containing runs.
Ahmed Shehzad, who is looking a completely different batsman from what he was four years ago, was replaced by Zaman.
Zaman was streaky in the beginning against India with a lot of top edges but overcame his troubles to played a brave knock. He became the first Pakistan batsman to score 100 in the final of an ICC event.
The left-hander was previously part of the Pakistan Navy. He has taken a liking to left arm spinners and as a first class player demonstrated his command over them when he smashed Ravindera Jadeja to all parts of the ground.
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This is one of most supreme expensive cricket bats handcraft made in Pakistan from super English willow, with more 10 + straight 9+ grains. It is a world-class professional player bat, with excellent craftsmanship.
Special attention is noticeable in the sculpt of every corner and edge. The bat does not have a sticker, but instead has CA laser carving.
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This long lasting bat costs close to the £700 price point. Many international cricketers play the sport with a CA bat.
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