The difference that PSL makes
Pakistan super league was inaugurated in 2016 and in very short span of three years has risen to become one of the domestic leagues around the world. Even in its adolescence it is drawing comparison with the well set Indian counterpart. The reason is the quality of cricket and entertainment it has provided throughout its short course. Najam Sethi’s brainchild has provided Pakistan cricket with a lot of advantages a few of which I have jotted down below
In 2015 PCB was in serious monetary crisis due to lack of international cricket in Pakistan. This lead to dreadful stadiums, poor quality of pitches and even more painful was the sight of empty stands in domestic matches. In such a time of crisis PSL came in and provided the PCB with a bag full of cash. The first five franchises were sold out at a cost of ninety three million dollars for ten years. Income from Sponsors of PSL are around US $6 Million and the value of the broadcasting deal was US$15 million for the first three years. Ticket sales of the last three matches of PSL 3 held in Pakistan alone have been around 2.5 million dollars. PCB has amassed a total of 70 million dollars on average per season. This money has been used to build new and renovate old stadiums, restructure Pakistan’s fragile domestic circuit, pay foreign coaches and to arrange foreign tours for the Under-19 team.
Another important financial aspect is the money a professional player needs so that he can single mindedly focus on his game. Before PSL, players in the domestic cricket were on an average payed 10 times lesser then their Indian counterparts but now PSL offers a whopping 200,000, 120,000, 80000, 40,000 and 15,000 US Dollars to Pakistani players in different categories.
After the spot fixing scandal in 2009, Pakistan cricket was at its lowest ebb. It was a common perception that the glory days were gone and cricket was going to meet the same ill fate as squash and Hockey. But that changed as most of pivotal players to Pakistan’s Champions trophy success were products of PSL. Be it the tricky googly of Shadab Khan, the gap picking of Fakhar Zaman or the pinch hitting of Faheem Ashraf, it is all present in Pakistan. PSL 3 has also lived up to expectations as Mickey Artur said, “Hussain Talat, Asif Ali, Salman Agha and Shaheen Afridi are talented cricketers emerged in the PSL who could be groomed for future”.
PSL provides a platform to youngsters to share dressing rooms with great players .How great a feeling it would to be patted on the back by a legend like Sir Vivian Richards. How much confidence Anwar Ali must have gained from the last over cameo against Peshawar. What an experience it was for Imad Wasim to captain a side of Karachi’s quality. So PSL is not just about bringing up new players but it’s a platform for young guns to learn from the best.
PSL has revived Pakistan cricket from an imaginable low. Same needs to be done with hockey, squash, kabaddi e.t.c. We can re-achieve the feat of the 1990’s where we were Hockey, Cricket, Squash and Snooker champions simultaneously. All we need are quality platforms like PSL. In the end it is our love for sports and Pakistan that brings us al together, we need to strive continuously to make sure that Pakistan always is the winner.