Ever since the inception of the glamorous Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, the other cricketing nations have followed the footsteps by introducing their own leagues. Bangladesh, West Indies, Australia, England have started their own leagues which unearth young talent.
Nowadays, the leagues all over the globe have become competitive and surely Pakistan Super League is one of them. The premier reason is the quality of bowling. Two-and-a-half seasons have been played so far and we haven’t seen too many 200+ scores. Only two centuries have been notched up. It’s because the quality of bowling has been exceptional. The bowlers do find an answer when they are taken for fours or sixes. They do find ways and means to somehow stop the batsmen. And that is what makes PSL so different from the other leagues. This season we have seen some superb fielding and fast bowling. Everyone has been overwhelmed by the quality of fielding. It has left behind all the major leagues. From Shahid Afridi’s remarkable catch on the boundary ropes to Joe Denly’s ripper at point to Shaheen Shah Afridi’s majestic effort on the ropes, there have been scenes worth watching again and again.
The Dubai pitch almost always gives support to the bowlers and that’s why the captain winning the toss decides to bowl first most of the times. All through the three seasons, a 150+ score is a tricky target to chase down.
Such spinners as Mohammad Nawaz and Sunil Narine always make scoring of runs difficult. Recently, Dwayne Smith said that PSL is harder to play because of the quality of bowling. Karachi’s Ravi Bopara said: “The standard is very high in this league. I have said it over and over again. I realised it in the first year that how tough this league can be. The bowling is superb and you have got some dangerous batsmen.”
The short-pitch balls and bouncers have been very effective in stopping the scoring of runs.
The coaching staff in this season has been world class. The Multan Sultans did a great job when they roped in Tom Moody as their coach who is renowned all over the world because of his methods.
Quetta has Viv Richards as their mentor since the start. His energy seems to be infectious.
Besides, Younis Khan, our highest Test-run getter, has done a pretty good job as a mentor for Peshawar Zalmi.
But there have been very small crowds at the stadiums. We do see a packed house on the weekends but on working days the attendance is very low. It’s sad when you see such splendid matches being played in front of only a few thousand people.
The final in Karachi will be a great development and it will play a huge role in bringing the whole or even half of the PSL to Pakistan. After last year’s PSL final in Lahore and the visit of World XI, many stars have agreed to visit Pakistan who last year refused to come. John Hastings, Ravi Bopara and other stars are ready to come.