On a handsome starlit March night in Karachi, the iconic National Stadium reverberates with the sounds of the thousands who have come to watch the final of Pakistan's flagship Twenty20 tournament, the Pakistan Super League. Stating that each year new players are added to the fold, Ramiz Raja maintained that the third edition of the PSL, which will kickstart on Thursday in Dubai, will be bigger and better than the those held before. On the other hand, rest of the teams, apart from Quetta Gladiators, would be playing 6 matches in Dubai.
In terms of preparations for this year's PSL, it appears that none of the franchises have left any stones unturned to ensure they have the right personnel and preparations in place for this tournament. The bowlers especially spinners played a key role in helping Karachi Kings to clinch their first ever victory against Quetta Gladiators by 19 runs. "The boy has the potential to trouble the batsmen", he said. Defeat against Sultans scattered the Peshawar Zalmi.
In response, Lahore's openers Fakhar Zaman and Sunil Narine provided a good start to their team but Muhammad Irfan dismissed Narine and Brendon McCullum in quick succession. They have got a couple of players who have retired from the global game, but still bring a lot of value to the T20 teams around the world with their experience and wiliness and to complement that, they have got exuberance of youth as well which is direly needed in the shortest format of the game.
The English contingent so well represented last year by Jordan and Malan has further been boosted for this year's PSL with the addition of the likes of Joe Denly, Jofra Archer, Liam Dawson and Ross Whiteley.
In the second year of its running, PSL chief Najm Sethi had promised to bring cricket back to Pakistan through the league. The tournament will then move to Pakistan where the last three games - two eliminators and the final - are to be played in Lahore and Karachi respectively. "I've been watching a lot of cricket since and I've learned a lot from that".