PSL 2018 – 6 Teams, 34 Matches (3 matches in Pakistan)
The third edition of the Pakistan Super League is only a few days away and the entire country and the rest of the world is holding its breath for another successful season of the competition. The HBL Pakistan Super League 2018 player draft was held on November 12 and every team now has 19-20 players in their squads. The final will be held in Karachi while two games during the playoffs will be played in Lahore.
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.
So this season, 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!
The PSL schedule 2018 has been released. The league starts Feb 22. 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. 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.
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.
According to latest news, many of the overseas players have agreed to playing in Pakistan and will feature in the competition for their sides in the country. Some of the players who could be playing in the PSL in Pakistan are Darren Sammy, Shane Watson, Carlos Brathwaite, Imran Tahir, J.P. Duminy, Colin Ingram, Darren Bravo, Luke Ronchi, Sam Billings, Tamim Iqbal, Andre Fletcher, David Wiese, Lendl Simmons, Joe Denly, Ravi Bopara and Tymal Mills. Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen and Mitchell Johnson have all refused to feature in the country.
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.
Last Season – Peshawar Zalmi won PSL
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.
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.
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.
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.