KARACHI: Former cricketers have lauded the level of competition courtesy the inclusion of the sixth franchise, Multan Sultans, in the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which moves to Sharjah Cricket Stadium after its first phase ended in the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.
After the eight matches played Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans are the teams who have emerged as the strongest outfits in the month-long tournament. Meanwhile, Lahore Qalandars once again emerged as the weakest side in the event.
Former chief selector Salahuddin Sallu was all praise of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and said that the inclusion of the sixth franchise has raised the level of competition and also given a new taste to the league.
“The first five teams have been playing since the first edition and had become aware of the each other’s strategies. Multan Sultans, courtesy experienced players like captain Shoaib Malik and veteran batsman Kumar Sangakkara, have introduced a new taste in the league, forcing the teams to plan differently against them,” said Sallu while talking to The Express Tribune.
“I have been watching the league since its launch but this edition has delivered a lot of entertainment in just seven matches,” he added.
Referring to the current record of the PSL of having the highest successful rate of catches taken in any league in the last two years, he said: “This has raised the expectations and interest of the fans in the league.”
He added that the way the teams are putting efforts in every match is a good thing to watch. “The young players are giving their best against the experienced players which shows the potential Pakistan possesses,” he said. “Like every year, this year will also provide us players for the Pakistan national team.”
‘Empty stadium party spoilers’
PSL, which is majorly hosted by the PCB, in the UAE sees a scant number of spectators in the stadiums and Sallu suggests something should be done about the turnout.
“Something needs to be done about the turnout,” he said. “The empty stadium look bad on screen. We have to attract people to come to the stadium and support the stars that have come to promote our league. The Sharjah stadium is expected to be much filled up than Dubai as there are more Pakistanis living around the stadium.”
PSL motivating for youngsters: Jalaluddin
Meanwhile, the current chief selector of Pakistan women’s team, Jalaluddin told The Express Tribune that PSL has is inspiring for female cricketers who are expecting a league of their own now.
“PSL is a source of motivation for many players, no matter if they are men or women. It has encouraged and motivated domestic players to improve their performance. The PSL is giving young players a chance to showcase their skills and that is the main source of motivation, that if they perform they could be playing in next year’s edition,” he said.
He added that the way matches are being decide in the last overs is an incredible thing to watch. “The players are performing in every area: batting, bowling and fielding. All areas are being served at its best which has increased the interest in the PSL,” he said.