The third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) begins on February 22 in the UAE. The Elimination matches and the final will be played in Lahore and Karachi, respectively.
This will be the first high-profile cricket match in Karachi since the Test match against Sri Lanka in 2009.
Thus, the matches of the third edition will be played at four venues: Dubai, Sharjah, Lahore, and Karachi.
After Indian Premier League, PSL is the most competitive and well-organised league in the world. It is better than Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
One of the positive aspects of PSL is that it gave Pakistani players the chance to share dressing rooms with renowned international players and gain valuable experience.
Local boys also gained financial incentives that they had never achieved from domestic cricket. Some local players showed their talent in the league and got selectors’ attention for the national team’s assignments, such as fast bowlers Hassan Ali, Rumman Raees, all-rounder Imad Wasim, spinners Shadab Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Nawaz and opener Fakhar Zaman. Many of these players contributed in a big way to the Champions Trophy triumph last year.
Pakistani domestic cricketers are some of the lowest paid professional cricketers in the world. The money offered in PSL motivates the youngsters to work harder as they hope to get signed by PSL franchises.
In the past, the only way for local cricketers to be financially secure was to get a place in the international team that was too difficult.
After the introduction of T20 leagues around the world, they have the opportunities of earning money and gaining experience.
Usama Mir, who represented the Karachi Kings during the first edition of the tournament, once said: “I absorbed so much just sitting next to Ravi. He taught me how to cope under pressure and gave me advice on how I can develop my batting. Simply watching him prepare pre-game was an eye opener for me.
“The intensity and focus in his training was beneficial. I strongly believe cricketers improve when playing against strong opponents. With four overseas cricketers permitted per squad, it increases the competitiveness and quality of the tournament,” he said.
Young cricketers go into the international cricket sphere having played under pressure, and thus they are familiar with strong opponents due to the leagues.
As the League is expanding, it will give more emerging players an opportunity to play with senior players.
In the first two editions of the Pakistan Super League, five teams participated with each side playing the other twice. In the third year, a sixth franchise Multan Sultans has been added and the total number of matches has increased from 18 to 34.
Each team consists of 16 players, including five foreign players and at least two emerging players.
Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi were the champions in the first two editions.
PSL’s first edition, held in February 2016, generated a profit of $2.47 million. The PCB distributed 70 percent of the profit among the five franchises.
ICC security expert has given green signal for PSL final in Karachi. Consultant Reg Dickason expressed satisfaction over the security plan for the final. He said they were briefed by officials of different security agencies, and found the arrangements for PSL-3 final up to the mark.
A full-dress rehearsal was arranged in Karachi to practically display the arrangements for the PSL final in Karachi in which security agencies demonstrated their skills.