Amid the sweltering hot weather and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pakistanis finally have a sigh of relief and can rejoice as the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is set to recommence. The sixth edition of the star-studded tournament came to an abrupt end earlier this year and had to be postponed. Now the grounds have been changed as players head to Abu Dhabi for the remaining 20 matches to finally crown a winner.
Cricket leagues are gaining popularity around the world as it brings out new talent and promotes the sport. Pakistan was a late entrant in starting league cricket. The Indian Premier League, arguably the most lucrative cricket league, has seen the emergence of some outstanding players. The Big Bash in Australia, BBL, and Caribbean Premier League have also gained immense popularity.
The PSL gave many players an excellent platform to showcase their talent. Previously, we had T20 tournaments every year but they couldn’t draw the crowds and only experienced cricketers played in them. The PSL saw the emergence of new talent and youngsters have demonstrated their prowess and skills. Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Ruman Raees, Haider Ali, Faheem Ashraf, and Shaheen Shah Afridi are some of the players who are not only representing Pakistan today but also showcasing their talents all over the world.
When young blood is infused into the team, it also changes the structure and outlook of the team. We have seen a clear change in the playing style after the inclusion of young players in our team.
The PSL saw the emergence of two exceptionally talented fast bowlers, Shahnawaz Dhani and Mohammad Omar playing for Multan Sultans. Shahnawaz Dhani, who hails from Sindh, performed brilliantly and was well received by fans. Based on his talent, he got an opportunity to join the national team. Omar is also highly talented but unluckily he has not received many opportunities yet.
As far as new talent is concerned, it would be unfair to not mention Quetta Gladiators players Saim Ayub. The opening batsman recently shared the crease with West Indies’ great Chris Gayle and South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis as he showed his skills with his aggressive style, rarely seen in Pakistan. It is also not possible to ignore left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Imran of Peshawar Zalmi. He is a talented bowler skilled in both fast and medium-paced bowling. He was seen in domestic tournaments and will certainly represent Pakistan soon.
The two-time winners Islamabad United are not behind in bringing new talent to the forefront. They have talented players like Akif Javed and Zeeshan Zameer who have the ability to turn the tide of the match at any time. It is important how the team uses the young players and brings out their talent. If you look at Karachi Kings, Arshad Iqbal has already reaped the rewards of his hard work, having represented Pakistan before the PSL matches. He has used his talents while representing Karachi Kings and is expected to continue his brilliant run.
The Lahore Qalandars are considering the underdogs of the PSL. It is the only team to host a talent hunt to bring out new talent and has brought many young players to the team. The most notable is Haris Rauf. They have talented youngsters like Ahmed Daniyal, Maaz Khan, and Mohammad Faizan who have the potential to make a place in the national team. All eyes are now on the PSL to see how the players shine and make their teams and their nation proud.