PSL 2018 – 6 Teams, 34 Matches (3 matches in Pakistan?)
The preparation for the third edition of the Pakistan Super League has begun according to PCB chief Najam Sethi, who also lauded the successful hosting of the second edition of the PSL. The HBL Pakistan Super League player draft for the third edition of the tournament was held on November 12 and every team now has 19-20 players in their squads.
According to a news report, the final of the third edition of the Pakistan Super League will be held in Karachi. On the 1st of June, PCB announced Multan as the sixth team to take part in the competition. On the 6th of June, it was announced that the team would be named Multan Sultans. In an interview with PCB Chairman Najam Sethi, he has confirmed the following;
So next year, we will have six teams, 34 matches and 3 matches in Pakistan with 2 taking place in Lahore and 1 match played at Karachi. International players will be paid USD 10,000 per match to play in Pakistan next season. A seventh team would be included in the PSL after two years based out of FATA, Sialkot or Faisalabad. Inshallah!
According to some sources, nine PSL games might be played in Pakistan while some other reports suggest just that only four games will be held in the country once the PCB approves the security situation in the country. This could include two matches apiece in Karachi and Lahore and the grand final, which could again be played in Lahore. The good news is that Eastern Star International, an international security consultant who advise bodies like the International Cricket Council on security matters inspected the stadium and seems to have given them a positive review.
Later, on the PSL Draft Day, PCB chief Najam Sethi also announced the cricket board was trying their level best to ensure that the PSL 2018 Final will be held in Karachi.
The PSL schedule for the 2018 edition is yet to be released but is expected to be played in February and March 2018.
What makes it slightly more intriguing is that unlike the previous season, it will be mandatory for overseas players to feature in these games in Pakistan.
Last season, players were given extra money to return to Pakistan but they weren’t forced to play that final. This season, they will still be paid more money – an extra of $10,000 per match they play in Pakistan – but no allowance will be given to players for not playing these games in Pakistan.
In the first two seasons of the PSL, five teams had participated in the competition with each side playing the other twice. A sixth franchise has been added to the tournament this season and the total number of games, as a result, is raised to 34 – 30 league games and four playoffs. This sixth team, Multan Sultans, were allowed to pick up a few players before they entered the PSL Draft.
At the end of the Draft, the final Pakistan Super League Squads were announced.
Last year, just one game was played in Pakistan, which was the final of the second edition of PSL that was hosted in Lahore. (Here’s how you can buy PSL tickets for 2018)
For the third season, the buzz is that the PSL final will be held in Karachi / Lahore and with Sethi now indicating that a total of 3 games will be played in Pakistan, it will be interesting to see which city will host the final this year.
Last Season – Peshawar Zalmi win PSL 2017
In what turned out to be a one-sided Pakistan Super League 2017 final, the Peshawar Zalmi defeated the Quetta Gladiators in the title-decider to lift the trophy. Darren Sammy hammered a quick-fire 28 down the order to become the difference between a score of 125 and 148 and on that slow and sluggish surface, the Gladiators were able to manage just 90 in reply. Mohammad Asghar grabbed three wickets while Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz scalped two apiece.
This was after the Lahore Qalandars were knocked out of the PSL much earlier than one would have thought. Led by Brendon McCullum, they finished bottom of the points table to bow out of the competition without making the playoffs.
Quetta Gladiators overcome Peshawar Zalmi in the first Qualifier, in what was a shock result given the position that the Zalmis were in, to make the final.
Karachi Kings dumped the defending champions Islamabad United out of the tournament but then met their match in the Zalmis, who defeated them after setting up a score of 181 in the third Qualifier.
The PSL 2 Final was played with much aplomb in Lahore given all the security issues that had pushed overseas players into pulling out of the game. Still, there were a few overseas cricketers who did tour the country for the final and it turned out to be a rousing success.
Earlier, the PSL 2 Draft for the second edition of the tournament was held on October 19 and all five teams announced their squads with most teams consisting of around 20 players from Pakistan and overseas.
A few of the players were retained from the previous season by teams while the others were picked afresh from the PSL Draft. There was also a transfer window in which teams like Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars exchanged players.
New players like Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Brendon McCullum became a part of the tournament, and were picked up by respective teams during the Draft, while Chris Gayle was let go of by Lahore and selected by Karachi.
The following players namely Tilakaratne Dilshan, Thisara Perera, Rilee Rossouw, Marlon Samuels, Andre Fletcher, Mahmudullah Riyad, James Franklin, Chris Green, Jason Roy and Nathan McCullum got a nod as replacement players instead of injured of partly unavailable players.
Misbah-ul-Haq led the defending champions Islamabad United yet again while Shahid Afridi handed over the captaincy of Peshawar Zalmi to Darren Sammy. Sarfaraz Ahmed captained the Quetta Gladiators, while Sangakkara was the skipper of the Karachi Kings. Lahore Qalandars saw Brendon McCullum take over the reins.
Given the success of the first season of Pakistan Super League, the PCB offered an increase in prize money for the second PSL season. The title winners took home $700,000, as opposed to $500,000 that they had won in the first season while the runner-up gathered $350,000. Last season the runner-up had won $200,000.
Kamran Akmal won the best wicket-keeper award, best batsman award and was also awarded the man of the tournament. Sohail Khan was named the best bowler.
The HBL PSL cricket league has put the cricket action from the country back on the map. Boasting of international players and a league like format, the tournament took place in three stages, which was played in Dubai and Sharjah. The teams representing five major cities – Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore took part in the competition.