PSL 2018 – 6 Teams, 34 Matches (8 matches in Pakistan)
The preparation for the third edition of the Pakistan Super League has begun according to PCB chief Shaharyar Khan, who also lauded the successful hosting of the second edition of the PSL.
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.
So next year, we will have six teams, 34 matches and 8 matches in Pakistan with 4 taking place in Lahore and the other 4 matches played at Karachi. Inshallah!”
The PSL chairman Najam Sethi has confirmed what had been speculated all this while. The tournament is planning to host eight of their games in Pakistan with four of those to be played in Lahore and the other four in Karachi in this third edition of the tournament. According to some sources, Nine PSL games might be played in Pakistan once the PCB approves the security situation in the country, which includes two double-headers in Karachi and Lahore and the grand final, which could again be played in Lahore (and not Karachi).
While the PSL schedule for the 2018 edition is yet to be released, the PSL chairman informed a local newspaper that two double-headers will be played in Karachi while the other two double-headers will be hosted at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Last season, Sethi had said they were looking to host the final of the PSL in Lahore and despite much uncertainty, they managed to pull off an excellent showing in the final. However, there were many a players who backed out of the competition, leaving the Quetta Gladiators struggling.
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 but no allowance will be given to players for not playing these games in Pakistan.
A sixth franchise will be added to the tournament this season and the total number of games, as a result, will be raised to 34. More than 30 parties have applied to become the sixth side in the PSL.
In the first two seasons of the PSL, five teams had participated in the competition with each side playing the other twice. That gave rise to 20 league matches to go with four games during the playoffs. With the addition of a sixth team, this would increase to 30 league games and four playoffs.
Last year, just one game was played in Pakistan, which was the final of the second edition of PSL that was hosted in Lahore. For the third season, the buzz is that the PSL final will be held in Karachi and with Sethi now indicating that a total of eight games will be played in Pakistan, it will be interesting to see which other cities apart from Karachi and Lahore will host those games.
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.