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High PSL passion and the business boom

The craze of Twenty20 these days are developing very fast as this new short format of cricket has taking fast popularity since the 12 years of its creation within the long history of the game of cricket famous for Tests and One days in the world. The advancement of the T20 game despite entertainment for viewers and grooming local talent has magnetism for investors and company’s promotion of brands. Some of cricket playing nations are taking revenue by holding Twenty20 leagues and inviting business community to take benefits from it. In this regard Pakistan has even joined the bandwagon by offering lucrative Pakistan Super League.

There are number of big T20 leagues played around the world which including IPL (Indian Premier League), Australia’s Big Bash etc whereas now Pakistan Super League (PSL) based on the same franchise model of the former taking its right reputation since 2016 completing its three seasons successfully while the 4th edition of PSL is underway. This Pakistan Super League taking supremacy along the other leagues through the rise in its viewership and the money and business involved.

This star-studded 4th edition officially named HBL-PSL-2019, Pakistan’s historic mega event carry a winner prize of half a million dollar as compare to the previous third season where the champion team received $1 million along the overall prize money on offer is $3.5 million. The PSL-IV edition carrying 34 matches to be played between 6 franchises – Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Islamabad United Quetta Gladiators, Peshawar Zalmi and the Multan Sultans at the United Arab Emirates grounds while the interesting part of it that 8 matches will be played in our home country including the final in Karachi, a mega city of Pakistan.

It is a welcome relief for Pakistan to bring in Pakistan Super League (PSL) since there is no international cricket at home after the firing incident on the visiting Sri Lankan team. In 2009 in Lahore gunmen attacked a bus carrying touring Sri Lankan team from their hotel to Qadhafi Stadium for a Test match of the scheduled series. In the incident six Lankan players were hurt while six security personnel and two civilians of our country were killed, since then no any team of cricket playing nations agree to come here forcing Pakistan to hold their home series matches in the United Arab Emirates apart from Zimbabwe’s limited-over tour in 2015. Pakistan remained starved of holding international cricket before introducing PSL as World XI team and sufferer Sri Lanka and West Indies team play a short series and very recently, this year, West Indies women’s team even played three Twenty20 internationals in Karachi from January 31-February 3, 2019.

But the hectic efforts of Pakistan Cricket Board started in 2015 and materialize in 2016 to hold first edition of PSL and now entering into its 4th season opening vital chances for bringing back international cricket and players back to Pakistan grounds after numbers of reports from the cricket high up personalities that there security normalcy in Pakistan. Holding of PSL matches in Pakistan is a big lift for a nation which is has largely shunned over security risks since 2009.

During the first season for PSL the former chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, Najam Sethi quoted as that the real test would be to bring game back home and in this regard Pakistan is successful that 8 matches of the current event will be played in Pakistan and hopefully next season will open up more chances to hold all the matches here.

Recently Giles Clarke, the head of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Pakistan Task Force arrived in the country on a two-day fact-finding mission on security and said “we have been able to see very significant work that has been invested in, and invested very wisely in how safety and security will be made possible for visiting international cricket teams.”

What is a business in PSL?

As there are 6 franchises vying for the PSL trophy with each team playing matches in double round robin format billions of rupees are in circulating in form of sponsorship, brand promotion activities through commercials both in print and electronic media and on the web portals.

There are number of companies in partnership with each franchises, like Habib Bank Limited the official sponsor of PSL; Soneri Bank having partnership with Quetta Gladiators. Soneri Bank’s President and CEO expressing his confidence in the Gladiators said: “the team has been a consistent performer throughout all PSL seasons and we are hopeful that his season will be wining for us.”

The renowned food and beverage company of Pakistan, Fauji Foods is partnering with Karachi Kings while Arif Habib Group also supporting the team. Mobilink is the first shirt sponsor of Lahore Qalandars with title sponsor is Alkaram Textile Mill, while GEO TV Royal Palm is the team’s hospitality partner.

A soft drink giant Pepsi is the proud title sponsor of Multan Sultans while Islamabad United has Sabroso as its official food partner. And for Peshawar Zalmi, TCL, one of the world’s top three TV brands, has announced that they have once again signed on to become one of the sponsors of Peshawar Zalmi for the 2019 season.

However there are more companies attached with the PSL teams for their business promotion and for growth in revenue.


Foreign players participation

As per the recent drafting of PSL-IV edition over 600 foreign and local players available for the draft. The cricketers of foreign nations include England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and The Netherlands. As per the drafting six franchises were allowed to pick 20 players in their squads provided each franchises could pick three platinum, three diamond, three gold, five silver, two emerging and four supplementary picks.

However good news for cricket fans in this PSL edition is the participation of world’s renowned cricket star A.B. de Villiers of South Africa, who is playing for Lahore Qalandars while other famous players are Steve Smith, Chris Lynn,

Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy among local stars such as Shahid Afridi, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hussain Talat and Anwar Ali, Fakar Zaman, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed and others.

Details of teams are:

Islamabad United

Platinum: Shadab Khan, Luke Ronchi, Faheem Ashraf

Diamond: Mohammad Sami, Asif Ali, Ian Bell

Gold: Rumman Raees, Samit Patel, Philip Salt

Silver: Hussain Talat, Sahibzada Farhan, Zafar Gohar, Waqas Maqsood, Cameron Delport

Emerging: Musa Khan, Nasir Nawaz

Supplementary: Wayne Parnell, Zahir Khan, Amad Butt, Rizwan Hussain

Karachi Kings

Platinum: Mohammad Amir, Babar Azam, Colin Munro

Diamond: Usman Khan Shinwari, Colin Ingram, Imad Wasim

Gold: Mohammad Rizwan, Ravi Bopara, Sikandar Raza

Silver: Awais Zia, Aaron Summers, Usama Mir, Sohail Khan, Iftikhar Ahmad

Emerging: Ali Imran, Abrar Ahmed

Supplementary: Aamer Yamin, Ben Dunk, Liam Livingstone, Jaahid Ali

Peshawar Zalmi

Platinum: Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Keiron Pollard

Diamond: Darren Sammy, Kamran Akmal, Misbah ul Haq

Gold: Liam Dawson, Dawid Malan, Umer Amin

Silver: Umaid Asif, Khalid Usman, Wayne Madsen, Sohaib Maqsood, Jamal Anwar

Emerging: Sameen Gul, Nabi Gul

Supplementary: Waqar Salamkheil, Chris Jordan, Ibtisam Sheikh, Samiullah

Quetta Gladiators

Platinum: Sarfraz Ahmed, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo

Diamond: Shane Watson, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Nawaz

Gold: Rilee Rossouw, Umar Akmal, Fawad Ahmed

Silver: Anwar Ali, Saud Shakil, Mohammad Asghar, Danish Aziz, Ahsan Ali

Emerging: Ghulam Mudassar, Nasim Shah

Supplementary: Harry Gurney, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Azam Khan, Jalat Khan

Lahore Qalandars

Platinum: Fakhar Zaman, AB de Villiers, Mohammad Hafeez

Diamond: Yasir Shah, Carlos Brathwaire, Corey Anderson

Gold: Anton Devchich, Rahat Ali, Sandeep Lamichhane

Silver: Shaheen Afridi, Hassan Khan, Agha Salman, Sohail Akhtar, Haris Sohail

Emerging: Mohammad Imran, Umair Maqsood

Supplementary: Brendon Taylor, Gauhar Ali, Aizaz Cheema, Harris Rauf

Multan Sultans

Platinum: Shoaib Malik, Steve Smith, Shahid Afridi

Diamond: Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Joe Denly

Gold: Shan Masood, Qais Ahmed, Nicholas Pooran

Silver: Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Umar Siddiq, Laurie Evans, Nauman Ali

Emerging: Mohammad Junaid, Mohammad Ilyas

Supplementary: Dan Christian, Tom Moores, Ali Shafiq, Shakeel Ansar

Wish and pray for success

The cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world waiting for exciting and thrilling matches of PSL and organizing authorities extending good wishes to all the teams and players participating in the event. It is a hope that people and peaceful Pakistan will achieve ultimate success in the tournament along with the enthusiasts who enjoy a good play of cricket and bring in new talent. It is time to give message to the world that Pakistan is a peaceful country with love of sports especially the cricket. There is a need of hard efforts of the organizers to make best arrangements to hold matches under foolproof security. In the last three tournaments Islamabad United had two trophies and Peshawar Zalmi hold one. Let see the emergence of new team champion in the current event.

There are also best wishes for Pakistan team as the World Cup 2019 is three months away that this event will help Pakistan to choose solid and talented squad to help bring back pride for Pakistan like we done in the 1992 World Cup.

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