Finally the fever of PSL 2016 is over and Islamabad United is the winner of the 1st Paksitan Super League and World has witnessed big fanfare, eagerness and a lot of apprehension.
Shelved twice in the past three years owing to logistical and security issues, PSL is being touted as a ground-breaking venture in the country’s cricketing history with the potential to revive the flagging fortunes of the national team and, of course, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The 19-day league – played in Dubai and Sharjah – comprises five franchises: Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators. All outfits boast a fair mix of international and domestic players.
Before the start of PSL there was a nasty war of words between ex-PCB chairmen Zaka Ashraf and Najam Sethi over the brainchild issue as well as selection of venue. Initially almost it was finalized to have 1st PSL in Qatar but later-on UAE got the final verdict. And analysts say it was a good decision of PCB for finalizing UAE for 1st chapter of PSL.
Some most senior players were not included during the selection of first draft of the players i.e. Younus Khan, Abdul Razaq, Saeed Ajmal, Rana Naveed & Imran Farhat which was a big shocker for many. Later-on after public pressure the organizers took the services of Saeed Ajmal but was on silver category a moral-rooster for Saeed.
Then there was another issue with the dates & venue clash with lucrative Masters Champion but it was handled smartly and it couldn’t affect the overall pull of PSL.
Sethi, the league’s chairman with his team has endlessly raised the media expectations and that of the fans by putting all his eggs in the PSL basket. He and the other PCB officials have promised the world to the fans, as if all ills plaguing Pakistan cricket will be cured though PSL and he did it convincingly.
Pakistani team didn’t play well in Newzealand, consecutive seventh series loss and all the critics were behind the team and PCB because T20 World cup & Asia Cup was very close and performance of Pakistani players were not up to mark. So now after the successful drill of PSL in UAE, PCB is now in a position to get some positive analysis by the media and people of Pakistan.
But the sultry question is still there… Pakistan team’s preparation and selection for the Asia & T20 World cup. No doubt we have seen some great performances by some youngsters in PSL i.e. Muhammad Nawaz, Ruman Raees, Khalid Latif & Sharjeel Khan but on a sad not couldn’t find a great discovery in PSL except left arm spinner & all-rounder Muhammad Nawaz. Khalid Latif, Muhammad Sami & Sharjeel Khan are old horses and have already represented Pakistan on many occasions, this PSL has only given them a new life line as they are back in Pakistani squad after a long dump. They all performed very well but ‘in-consistency’ is still a big question mark? Sharjeel Khan played a great knock by a superb 100 against Peshawar Zalmi but cheaply gave his wicket in a crucial final match.
Pakistan Selection Committee is really one of the worst ‘selection’ as they are picking players for T20 & Aisa Cup just days before the hi-profile tournaments. They announced a team after observing performances of the players for the long two years but now they are replacing them with the ‘so-called’ discoveries from PSL. Are the players selected, have ever played big tournament to gather as a ‘One’ unit? So we will be doing again the experiments in forming combinations for T20 World & Asia Cup. On a sad note we couldn’t find any single fresh batsman from the ‘local’ lot and batting is still our one of biggest weakness.
Although Sethi, the most strongest in PCB, has managed to convince PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan to get full support for the cash-rich league PSL despite the latter’s many apprehensions, as PCB Chairman former ambassador is still not fully convinced about holding the league on foreign soil as bad news of match-fixing in UAE are hitting again.
“So Quetta Gladiators lost, but Pakistan won. On the day Quetta couldn’t just hold their nerves and bowled all over the place followed by horrible fielding. Well done Waseem and Dean Jones with your genius the underdog won, and we should all love that smile emoticon by the way all the pretty people were also with United so that was good for the TV audience. So overall a great show Unfortunate to see KP third time in a row ending up on losing side of a T20 Final in just 3 months”.
“PCB should do whatever it takes to rope in the PSL winning duo of Wasim Akram and Dean Jones, as the coaches of Team Pakistan. There is no better student of the game than Wasim Akram while Dean Jones is a positive and glowing presence in the dressing room.” – Umar Khayyam
Media Bites Editorial: Imran Malik
Pakistan First Media And Brand Website.
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