Pakistan Super League

PSL review, new kids on the block!

Hello and good morning, here I Ayyaz Malik aka The Sports Buff, talk about this years on going PSL. the games have been brilliant!

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The over 40’s club

With Pakistan being neighbours to them, many won’t be able to resist the comparisons between Pakistan Super League and the Indian Premier League. Such comparisons are extremely unfair of course as the PSL is an infant a toddler almost at 4 years old whilst the IPL is the bigger brother at 13 years old, the IPL knows more than the PSL, but he too is inexperienced and can mature much more. What I want to talk about here is that many see these T20 tournaments as a ‘young man’s game’.

This year’s PSL tournament is an example that the youngsters won’t be solely dominating the Super League team sheets, several veterans are blessing the PSL.

West Indian legend Chris Gayle (Quetta Gladiators), Mohammed Hafeez (Lahore Qalandars) and Shahid Afridi (Multan Sultans)  are all members of the 40-year old club. The four, might not want to scream that from the rooftops, but fans will be screaming and shouting about how Messers Gayle, Hafeez and Afridi have made solid contributions.

Former Pakistan captain Afridi has impressed with the ball, in particular, the first game as the veteran all-rounder Afridi finished with 2-24 off four overs against Islamabad United in the first game.

As for the other three, they have made some good contributions with the bat. Gayle scored a solid 39 and a streaky half-century (68) in two games. The fifty that The Big Boss scored did offer a couple of big changes to the Lahore Qalanders, but the Qalanders fielders shelled those chances. Those drops didn’t prove costly as fellow veteran Mohammed Hafeez clubbed an unbeaten 73 off just 33 balls, which helped Lahore win and chase down a potentially tricky target at a canter.

For the cricket purists amongst you, I know you will be thinking why hasn’t Kamran Akmal been mentioned? I must admit as I drafted this up, I was thinking the same thing too, but then after some research realised he’s a spring chicken at 39. Just like Akmal,  Shoaib Malik is a youthful 39.

As I was compiling this blog, there was some drafting and re-drafting, my criterion is strict, this blog is a shout-out to the 40’s club. Messers Malik and Akmal wishing them good health will be in the club next year! It’s brilliant to see the veterans we mentioned doing so well. Sohail Tanveer, Mohammed Irfan, Sarfraz Ahmed are arguably in the veteran category too but are a bit more youthful than Gayle, Hafeez and Afridi.

The youngsters in the tournament and the emerging players too is clear evidence that the PSL is making huge strides on the T20 cricketing world map. Not bad for a tournament that’s 10 years behind the IPL and the other leagues around the world.

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PSL review; the poor man’s IPL?

No matter what will happen, they will always be in the shadow of their older brother.
In families, they usually say the smaller one gets spoilt alongside the older child and the middle child is like a ghost in the family household.

Now in this scenario, they’re not exactly the ghost, but the Pakistan Super League has been in the Indian Premier League’s shadow.
As both India and Pakistan are neighbours, of course, the attention will be on one another as the world looks to see both staging their equivalent of a T20 domestic cricket masterpiece.

This tag, all be it unfair has been on the organiser’s necks, that they will not be good as the IPL.
The same could be said of the BBL and any other t20 league around the world. It’s a fact that India, were the trailblazers in the T20 format.

The Indian’s some 11/12 years ago created a T20 league which helped build a new audience to a sport that many thought needed a new spark to it.

Slow, boring and an old man’s game has been some of the accusation’s thrown at the real beautiful game.
Bouncers at 90mph, a straight drive through the covers, then football players fall down with a little bit of a tickle.
Arguably somewhat behind their Indian counterparts, Pakistan have closed the gap and keep closing the gap on the rest of the T20 world cricket family.

Gradually, getting better each year. This years tournament, the sixth, started today as defending champions Karachi Kings faced 2019 winners Quetta Gladiators.

There were plenty of star players on show in this game. Former captain Sarfraz Ahmed who’s captain of the Gladiators, the very talented Azam Khan, Chris Gayle, Ben Cutting and Pakistani paceman Naseem Shah, just to name a few.
Champions Karachi were packed with talent too with the likes of Imad Wasim, Babar Azam, Colin Ingram and Mohammed Nabi.

As impressive as this list of talent is, there is more talent that is on show in this years PSL.
In terms of English players Alex Hales (Islamabad United) Cameron Banton (Quetta Gladiators), Joe Clarke (Karachi Kings) and Phil Salt also Islamabad United, shows that the talent card had improved upon other years.

As for today’s match itself in a game that many thought would be tight turned into a one-sided affair. Quetta were bowled out for just 121. In reply, Karachi Kings knock off this target with six overs to spare.

This tournament has already produced a great game. Poor man’s IPL? The organises will be out to prove that theory wrong.
Here’s to hoping for some more brilliant cricket tomorrow.

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