Sarfraz hails impact of PSL matches in Pakistan

Quetta skipper believes it helps young players improve, increases interest in the game

Saleem Khaliq February 26, 2018
Eyes on the prize: Sarfraz expressed his hopes of lifting the PSL trophy in front of his home crowd at the National Stadium of Karachi. PHOTO COURTESY: PSL

DUBAI: Pakistan and Quetta Gladiators captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches being held in Pakistan will help the country’s cricket in the future.

“When youngsters will watch their heroes play, not only will they want to pursue cricket as a career but they will also learn a lot,” he said, while talking to The Express Tribune. “This will create stars.”

Karachi, Lahore resume PSL rivalry

Sarfraz feels Pakistan cricket has suffered a lot due to the country’s exile. “You can see that the country’s interest in cricket has dwindled in the last decade,” he said. “You can say the UAE is like a home to us but in reality it isn’t. There is absolutely nothing like the support your home crowd gives you. That really motivates the players and they are able to perform at their best level in front of such crowds.”

Quetta have lost both finals so far and will be hoping to break their final curse this time around, especially with the Karachi-born Sarfraz playing in front of his home crowd. However, the wicketkeeper-batsman refuses to let the team get ahead of themselves.

Rivalries between PSL teams must be allowed to flourish

“Well our first goal is to reach the play-offs,” he said. “For now that is the most important bit.”
The 30-year-old also revealed that Quetta are doing their best to convince their foreign players to come to Pakistan if they do qualify for the matches there.

“We are already in talks with our players regarding whether or not they would like to come to Pakistan for the playoffs and final if we qualify,” he said. “They have said that they will consider it and let us know.”

However, Sarfraz did admit that playing the final in Karachi will be special for him. “Yes it will be great for me on a personal level,” he said. “The last time I played a big match in Karachi was an Asia Cup game way back in 2008. So of course I will be very happy if we do get there and we will give it our best.”

The Quetta skipper also praised the PSL and its impact on Pakistan cricket. “The players who aren’t in the team are able to experience something very close to an international match,” he said. “They are sharing dressing rooms with the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Kevin Pietersen and Misbahul Haq, so of course they will learn a lot from it. It’s very important for the players to take advantage of the opportunity. If you perform in the PSL then you have a very good chance of being selected for the national side, as we have seen with the likes of Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Rumman Raees.”

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