Monday, June 19, 2017

PSL's Role in Pakistan's Meteoric Rise to ICC Championship 2017

Pakistan's national cricket team scored a historic win in Champions Trophy 2017 final against defending champions India on June 18th by the highest-ever margin of 180 runs in any ICC international tournament final. New players emerging from Pakistan Super League and the return of players like Mohammad Amir significantly strengthened the bottom-ranked Pakistan side to beat much higher-ranked teams, including India.

Pakistan Team Celebrating Champions Trophy 2017 Victory

Pakistan Team's Defiance:

The Pakistan team that barely made the cut to play in Champions Trophy as the 8th ranked team lost its very first match against arch-rival India by 124 runs in group B on June 4, 2017. Subsequently,  the team to went on to defeat top ranked South Africa, 4th ranked England and 7th ranked Sri Lanka to reach the trophy's final match against India.

Often described as "predictably unpredictable",  Pakistan XI bounced back strongly after being written off by most commentators and pundits. They demonstrated the resilience that also characterizes the people and the state of Pakistan both of which are often given the "failed" tag by Indian and western media.

Success Factors: 

There are many factors that are believed to have contributed to Pakistan's spectacular rise to the world champion status in international cricket. The team captain Sarfaraz Ahmad is not only a good leader but also a very good batsman-wicket keeper who keeps his cool under pressure. The return of aggressive paceman Mohammad Amir to the team after a long suspension for match-fixing has bolstered Pakistan's bowling attack. But, most of all, I believe it is the discovery and grooming of new talent in Pakistan Super League.

Pakistan Super League:

Pakistan Super League (PSL) is a T20 cricket league with 6 franchise teams-- one each in the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Multan. Multan franchise was just recently sold by PSL to the Schon Group for $41.6 million over 8 years. PSL generates millions of dollars in PCB income that helps promote cricket in the country. It also exposes new talent that would otherwise remain hidden.

Several youngsters in Pakistan side who shined in the recent Champions Trophy matches were selected after they played and performed well in PSL 2, the league's second season earlier this year. For example Fakhar Zaman (Lahore Qalandars), Hassan Ali (Peshawar Zalmi), Shadab Khan (Islamabad United),  Rumman Raees (Islamabad United).

Opener Fakhar Zaman gave Pakistan the rapid start it needed with the runs that built the foundation for other batsmen down the line to capitalize on; Mohammad Amir struck early with quick top order wickets and then Hassan Ali and Shadab Khan kept up the pressure with their aggressive bowling. These youngsters also energized the rest of the team, particularly the more senior low-performing players, to do better.

Credit to Najam Sethi:

PSL chairman Najam Sethi has played a crucial role in setting up the PSL that is giving young talent an opportunity to play with the best of international players and be discovered.  It's a platform that highlights Pakistan's young talent that can simply not be ignored by the Pakistan national team selectors.

Sethi can also be credited with bringing Mohammad Amir back into Pakistan team in the face of significant opposition by senior players, both former and current.


New players emerging from PSL and the return of players like Mohammad Amir have significantly strengthened Pakistan side as witnessed by their historic win against higher-ranked teams, including India, in Champions Trophy 2017 held in the United Kingdom. PSL is also generating the needed revenue to promote cricket at the grassroots level. PSL, if used properly, can help Pakistan become a more powerful professional side using the best available talent in the country.

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Yousuf H. said...

اللہ کا کرنا جو خلیفہ پلیئر تھے اور ان کے پیچھے چھپے ہاتھ تھے وہ دھر لیے گے فکسنگ کیسں میں ہا پھر زخمی ہوگے تو نئے پی ایس ایل کھلاڑیوں کو موقع مل گیا اور سب نے زور لگادیا-😀

Riaz Haq said...

Translation of Yousuf's Urdu comment above: Many of Pakistan's senior players were out either on corruption charges or lack of fitness. This created an opportunity for the young players to help Pakistan win the Champions Trophy.

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #India arrests 15 for cheering #Pakistan in Champions Trophy #CT17Final

Fifteen people have been arrested in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh for allegedly shouting "anti-India and pro-Pakistan" slogans during the Champions Trophy cricket final.
Police told the BBC that the Muslim men had been charged with sedition.
They were arrested after their Hindu neighbours complained that they had burst crackers and shouted "pro-Pakistan" slogans during the game.
Pakistan won the final, defeating India by 180 runs.
Sedition is one of the most serious charges under the Indian penal code.
People charged with sedition have to surrender their passports, are not eligible for government jobs, must appear in court as and when required, and spend money on legal fees.
The India Today website quoted police as saying that the men were charged because of the anti-India slogans and not because they were cheering for Pakistan.
Why India needs to get rid of its sedition law
This is not the first time Indian Muslims have got into trouble for cheering for the Pakistan cricket team.
In 2014, 66 Muslim students from Indian-administered Kashmir were kicked out of their university in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and charged with disturbing communal harmony.
And in 2016, police were sent into a university in Indian-administered Kashmir after clashes between students from the state and other parts of the country.

Riaz Haq said...

#PSL youngsters who played for #Pakistan in #CT17 have all become instant celebrities and millionaires

The young Pakistani players have become instant millionaires after a string of cash and other rewards announced. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced to give cash award of ten million rupees to each player and invited them for a lunch. The PCB also announced that besides the cash bonus of 29 million rupees due to the team as part of their central contracts, the Board would also give each player a cash bonus of one million rupees. The team has already pocketed prize money of around 200 million rupees from the ICC for winning the trophy. Famous builder Riaz Malik has also announced cash prizes of one million rupees each and plots for the players while others are slated to follow soon.

Riaz Haq said...

Ode to Team Green
Michael Kugelman

what struck me the most was this: the team that triumphed on Sunday is an admirable microcosm of Pakistan on the whole: young and unpredictable, but also odds-defying and resilient. Few expected it to defeat England in the semi finals, much less take out the mighty Indians in the final. This team, like the nation it represents, is often counted out, but still manages to persevere.

Recall all the times Pakistan has been counted out. In March 2009, the US military adviser David Kilkullen famously predicted that the Pakistani state could collapse within one to six months. Nearly 100 months later, the state has yet to fall.

In 2008, financial distress brought on by plummeting foreign reserves sparked concerns that Pakistan could experience an economic meltdown. Nearly a decade later, Pakistan would never be mistaken for the next Asian tiger, but its economy is in a much better place. According to Pakistan government figures, GDP growth has hit its highest level in eight years. Foreign exchange reserves have shot up to nearly $22 billion.

Between 2007 and 2014, the Pakistani Taliban and its allies waged a relentless, nationwide campaign of terrorist violence that appeared unstoppable. Today, Pakistan still experiences terrorism and must grapple with extremist entities, but terrorist violence has fallen significantly, thanks in great part to Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

Most recently, Pakistan has faced the prospect of a diplomatic isolation campaign by India. New Delhi may have successfully orchestrated a boycott of a Saarc conference in Islamabad and railed against ‘Pakistani terrorism’ in global forums, but Pakistan, through CPEC, has become a lynchpin for Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. In the process it has further cemented its close relationship with the world’s likely next superpower, and strengthened relations with key states like Russia. Let’s be clear: Pakistan may not be the world’s top power broker, but it is not diplomatically isolated.

To be sure, Pakistan faces challenges in the coming months and years far graver than anything that will be thrown at (or should I say bowled to?) its national cricket squad. Pakistan’s proliferation of policy problems — radicalisation and extremist sentiment in society, millions of kids out of school, malnutrition and stunted growth among children, structural corruption, and, in my view, the only true existential crisis that confronts Pakistan, outright water scarcity — are as daunting as they are diverse.

And yet if there is one teachable moment from Sunday’s victory, it is that Pakistan is often down but never out. Just as a young batsman named Fakhar Zaman seemingly came out of nowhere (at least I’d never heard of him) to produce a performance for the ages and help avert a defeat predicted by even the most learned of observers, there’s reason to believe Pakistan will find a way to defy the odds and overcome, or at least manage, challenges that appear to be insurmountable.

After all, if an ignorant American like me could follow Sunday’s match, with all its machinations and maneuvers, then surely anything is possible, no matter how daunting.

Riaz Haq said...

ICC revenue sharing

India will receive almost a quarter of the total cash handed out by cricket's world governing body after challenging initial attempts to reduce their share.

The BCCI will receive $405m (£319m) over the cycle of 2016 to 2023 - three times more than England's $139m (£110m), the second largest share.

The International Cricket Council's board had voted 13-1 in favour of India being allocated $293m (£227m) in April.

That led to reports India were planning to boycott the Champions Trophy.

After the vote - on proposals for a new financial model intended to redistribute revenue more equally - the BCCI missed the deadline to name a squad for the tournament.

A team was later selected, with India eventually losing in the final to Pakistan, but a BCCI statement explaining the delay said its secretary Amitabh Choudhary would continue to negotiate with the ICC, adding that it was "keeping its legal options open".

The changes to the ICC's revenue distribution model, ratified by its full council on Thursday, will see South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand and West Indies receive $128m (£101m) each, while Zimbabwe will receive $94m (£74m).

Ireland and Afghanistan, who on Thursday were granted Test status, will share $240m (£189m) of funding with the ICC's associate members.


by BBC sports news correspondent Joe Wilson

There is a logic in some circles of Indian cricket which runs; 'if we generate 70% of income in the global game, shouldn't we get 70% of the revenue?'

It's an argument the ICC has had to confront, keeping India on board while trying to ensure some equity in financial distribution. After all, it is a global game (even if India - and the IPL in particular - is in a world of its own with a global marketplace within its own borders).

Thus it was back in April that the ICC board voted in a financial package that saw India take $293m over the next cycle. Discontent followed, as did mutterings of not participating in the Champions Trophy.

Now the compromise gives them $405m, which is significantly more, but nowhere near the figure approaching $600m hardliners may have wanted. Where does the extra money to distribute to India come from? After all, the ICC now has two new full members to fund.

Well, Ireland and Afghanistan will see their income increased dramatically but will still be a long way behind Zimbabwe. If not in cricketing terms, then in finances.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex Zimbabwe batsman Grant Flower has played a quite role as a batting coach in helping Pakistan win Champions Trophy 2017

Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
PAKISTAN wrote one of world sport’s greatest success stories by defying the odds to win the 2017
International Cricket Council Champions Trophy at the Oval in London on Sunday and hidden,
somewhere, in that remarkable triumph was the priceless Zimbabwean contribution to that cause.
Coming into the tournament with the least ranking of all the participating teams, eighth in ODI
cricket in the world, Pakistan made a mockery of the rankings to recover from a first­game battering
and crush bitter rivals India in the final.
Along the way, they also swept away South Africa and thrashed hosts England in the semi­finals
before a stunning all­round show in the final annihilated India with none of their four victims
managing to score more than 236 runs in their innings.
The Pakistan cricketers were feted like kings, on their return home, as their cricket­mad nation gave
them a fitting heroes’ welcome as the fans celebrated the country’s first world 50­overs tournament
success story since 1992. “Hopefully this win, everyone will remember — not today, not tomorrow,
but for a very long, long time,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
“Now we are the champions, hopefully this win will boost Pakistan cricket and hopefully all playing
nations is coming to Pakistan.” Coach Mickey Arthur also touched on the absence of international
cricket in Pakistan since some militants attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 forcing
virtually all the world’s teams not to tour that country for security reasons.
“I’m sure that the nation of Pakistan is really happy tonight — they deserve it. You talk about our
players not playing at home but also the fans not identifying with heroes because they just don’t see
international cricket,’’ said Arthur. ‘’That’s massive. So let’s hope that this really kick­starts that
momentum in Pakistan again.”
What wasn’t mentioned, though, was how Zimbabwe played a helping hand in laying the foundation
for Pakistan’s sensational triumph. In May two years ago, the Chevrons broke ranks with their Test
playing counterparts when Zimbabwe became the first major cricket playing country in the world to
tour Pakistan for three ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals.
All the matches were played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, the irony of the hosting venue and
city — where those militants attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 —not lost on the watching
All the matches attracted capacity crowds with a number of Pakistan players who would feature
prominently in the country’s 2017 ICC Champions Trophy success — skipper Sarfarz, fast bowler
Junaid Khan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali — playing key roles in
their country’s success in both the Twenty20s and the ODIs against Zimbabwe.
The matches were competitive with Pakistan winning the first Twenty20 International by five runs,
with three balls to spare, while they won the second T20 by just two wickets after chasing the
Chevrons’ 175­3.

Riaz Haq said...

You can try, but you can never out-Pakistan #Pakistan. Other teams are involved, but #Pakistan is always central to everything at #ICCWorldCup #cricket tournaments

Australia may own the most World Cup trophies, and England might have hosted the most events, but the World Cup is just for Pakistan.

Other teams are involved, but Pakistan is always central to everything. In 1999, nothing could upstage the Lance Klusener-Allan Donald run out, but Pakistan were right there, stinking up the final. 2011 was the official opening of India's new thousand-year reign, and no one was more accommodating than the Pakistani fielders when it came to Sachin Tendulkar. Twice they have co-hosted the World Cup - in 1987 and 1996 - and not made the title round. In 2007, they played their part in the biggest upset in sporting history.

This World Cup, Pakistan were outstanding on the field, making 105 in their opener (against a team that would end with only one more win) and then notching up a match-winning 348 (against the World No. 1s) as their follow up. They finished by stumbling over the line against Afghanistan and scoring just the one six in a game they had to hit about 34 of them to beat the net run-rate.

That's a solid effort, but other teams have been fun too.

Dimuth Karunaratne bowled himself, before throwing the ball to a random uncle who hasn't bowled in years to win the match. They also had no swimming pools at their hotel. And Lasith Malinga destroyed teams while carrying something that shook like a bowl full of jelly.

And Afghanistan, I mean, quite the tournament they had. Two players sent home, a selector demoted, their fans jumped a fence and they finished not winning any games with their captain almost getting hit by a ball he was supposed to catch.

These are strong efforts, but it's not quite the full Pakistan, and as we all know, you never go the full Pakistan.

I am old enough to remember when Pakistan fans still weren't sure about Babar Azam. Sure, he was pretty, but did he score fast enough, was he Kohlilite, or Umarish? So the dramatic turn of events that lead to him being outed as an Avenger after the New Zealand knock was shocking. Pakistan had their own cricketing beatification; pedestals couldn't be built high enough to place this man on.

People should be excited by Babar - though you could say they should have been before. He is graceful sex on wheels, your favourite pizza, but with no calories. I have never seen him plug in his phone, but I bet he commands the cord, finds the charge point without looking, and needs no force at all while staring dreamily at a stunning landscape.

But can we dial down the hyperbolic overreaction from a One Direction concert to normal Pakistan over-adulation levels? The man doesn't levitate. At least not yet.

Riaz Haq said...

Ramiz Raja, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has stated that the just finished Australian tour of Pakistan brought in record-breaking revenue for the PCB. According to Ramiz, the tour was a success not just in terms of cricket, but also in terms of business, with the PCB making a profit of up to Rs. 2 billion.

The 59-year-old said that Pakistan’s recent successes, which included a historic triumph over arch-rival India in the 2021 T20 World Cup, revived the country’s supporters’ fervour, resulting in sold-out stadiums throughout Australia’s visit to the country.

“With recent strong results, our cricket team has instilled trust in the public, propelling us to new heights on a commercial level.” Only Australia’s home tour made a two-billion-dollar profit. As a result, it’s a good indicator for us moving forward,” Ramiz said.

Despite the tour’s great success, former national team captain feels there is still more work to be done. He stated that the PCB’s goal is to strengthen the country’s cricket facilities and pitches.

He stated that Pakistan’s next blockbuster season is crucial for the country, and that PCB must work tirelessly to ensure that the country’s infrastructure is up to par. This year, Pakistan will host the West Indies, England, and New Zealand, as the Men in Green prepare for their first real home season in a decade.