The Pakistan super league 3 is about to begin and we are shaking with anticipation. What with the stunning success of the last season, Pakistanis are expecting PSL 2018 to be another major hit!
Are you ready for the excitement?
Pakistanis are holding their breaths for the entertaining event that are about to start.
Things started off with the HBL Super League Player draft on November 12th, 2017 which resulted in each of the 6 teams having 19-20 players each.
According to a recent interview with PCB chairman, Najam Sethi, there are going to be a total of 34 PSL 3 2018 matches out of which 3 matches will be hosted by Pakistan. These will be the most adrenaline pumping to watch as they will be the semi-finals in Lahore and the finals in Karachi.
PCB reportedly said that they will pay an extra $10000 to international players for every match they play in Pakistan.
More exciting news includes rumors of a seventh team being created. This is expected to take place in about 2 years’ time with the origin being from one of FATA, Faisalabad or Sialkot.
This year has also seen the addition of an extra, 6th team, the Multan Sultans. PCB announced its existence on June 1st, 2017. The name of the team was officially announced on 6th of June, 2017. Moreover, the final, which is expected to be played in Karachi, has rising expectations for more matches to come.
Moving on to the current situations, the PSL 3 2018 schedule confirms the last three Pakistan based games. However, PCB also holds the right to withhold the right of confirmation, until the security condition in Karachi is standardized. If the security levels are approved, it could mean 4 instead of 3 matches in Pakistan, with two in Lahore and two in Karachi. For security assurance, eastern star international which is an international security consultant has inspected and reviewed the stadiums with positive results. This gives us hope for the possible future PSL games in Pakistan.
Moreover, PCB itself wants Karachi to host the final. On the draft day, Najam Sethi, the chief of PCB was intent on suggesting Karachi as the final destination for the match. He did try his best to ensure that the PSL 2018 final is located in Karachi.
According to schedule, the PSL 2018 matches are expected to fire off from February 22nd onwards. Pakistan based games were also to take place last season. However, due to unfortunate security reasons and player disagreements, it didn’t happen. This year, all international player signing the PSL 3 2018 contract are obliged to play any games based in Pakistan as well. This will minimize any risk of conflicts and last minute changes that disrupted the schedule last year.
Last year the players were offered extra money for the matches in Pakistan bit no rules were in place. This led to last minute changes and a state of frenzy and certainty regarding whether any match would take place in Pakistan or not. This year, however, they are offered an extra sum of $10000 as well as obliged to play in any matches that take place in Pakistan.
In the previous two PSL seasons, there were 5 participant teams that went against each other twice. This year, this number has been increased to six. Hence, the matches have also increased to 34. These include 30 league games and finally 4 playoffs.
As the 6th team was new, they were given a small advantage. The Multan sultans were allowed to pick a few players beforehand to make up for the retained players that all the other teams had from past seasons. Once the Draft was completed, the final Pakistan Super League 2018 squads were named one by one. Although Pakistan did manage to host the final in Lahore after much fuss last year, we expect that things will go much smoother this year.
The Peshawar Zalmi were crowned winners of the PSL season 2 last year. However, many of the viewers think that the final was incredibly one-sided with Zalmi defeating Guetta Gladiators without much of a showdown. We saw Darren Sammy scored an extremely fast 28 to put Zalmi up from 125 to 148 on the slow pitch. However, the Quetta Gladiators could only score 90. Muhammad Asghar earned 3 wickets for his credit while Hassan Ali and Wahab Riaz managed to take 2 each for Peshawar.
Despite the expectations, Lahore Qalandars were knocked out of the PSL much earlier than expected. They finished at the bottom lead by their captain Brendon McCullum and couldn’t even qualify for the Playoffs.
In a shocking match which could only be attributed to luck, Quetta gladiators managed to defeat the high profile zalmi in the first qualifier and were automatically shifted to the finals. Chances may be that Peshawar let Quetta win in order to have an easy competitor in the finals. However, these are all speculations.
For the Karachi Kings, things were looking up as they managed to defeat Islamabad United and throw them out of the tournament. However, their luck ran out as they met the Zalmis who defeated them with a stunning 181 score which the kings couldn’t manage to chase.
The final was played with extreme anticipation. Fans were full of excitement as the two teams came to battle on the Pakistani ground. There was much fuss over the international cricketers who refused to come to Pakistan due to the security issues. This is why most of the players were Pakistani. However, some international players did make a commitment and came to Pakistan to represent their team. After all the excitement, the season two of PSL turned out to a massive success.
There were many new international players coming into the field. Some of the new names include Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Brendon McCullum. These players were picked by the respective teams while the Lahoris let go of Chris Gayle. Moreover, some changes in the replacement players included Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thisara, Perera, Marlon Samuels, Rilee Rossouw, James Franklin, Jason Roy, Andre Fletcher, Nathan McCullum, Mahmudullah Riyad and Chris Green. They were out of the injured player list into the replacement players.
As for the captains, The Islamabad United was led by Misbah-ul-Haq, while Peshawar Zalmi was led by Darren Sammy. The Quetta Gladiators was led by Sarfaraz Ahmed while Karachi kings were led by Sangakkara. For the Lahore Qalandars, it was Brendon McCullum who took over the captaincy.
The first season of the PSL was a huge hit as was the second and so the Pakistan Super League 2018 is expected to be huge as well. For this reason and more, PCB decided to give raises to players in order to promote and popularize the game. The second season winners got a huge raise. For instance, the title winners received $700000 instead of the $500000 that they received in season one. Also, runner-ups received $350000 instead of the season one $200000.
As always, there were numerous awards for the individual players as well. These included the best keeper, the best bowler, and the best batsman among others. In last year’s PSL matches, the best wicket-keeper award went to Kamran Akmal. He also won the best batsmen as well as the man of the tournament award! Sohail Khan, on the other hand, won the best bowler award.
Thanks to the HBL PSL cricket league, Pakistani cricket is back on the map. International cricket was something unheard off before the OSL. Particularly, there were no international matches played in Pakistan. However, PSL has not only rekindled our name in international cricket, it has brought international cricket to Pakistan. Last year the tournament took place in Dubai, and Sharjah with the final in Lahore and was played in three stages. Last year there were 5 cities which participated.
Things are improving as the league starts refining players as well as it supporting structure. This year we have a new team, players who are willing to play in Pakistan as well as 3 or 4 matches situated in the home country. Many Pakistanis all around the world are following the PSL and PCB details in order to get the info they need. PSL tickets are also available for purchase online with different varieties to suit your preferences. The VIP tickets are also available for a larger sum. Pakistan Super League 2018 is a big step for our cricket and we are on the edges of our seats for the matches.
Let the games begin!