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Thread: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE





    DUBAI: Pakistan is set to launch its first franchise-based Twenty20 league in the UAE on Thursday as its cash-strapped cricket board seeks to boost revenues and reverse the national team's slide in the game's shortest format.

    The long-awaited first edition of the Pakistan Super League follows two previous attempts that fell through over a lack of sponsorship and the suspension of international cricket at home in the wake of a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team almost seven years ago.

    With Pakistan's once-dominant Twenty20 side sliding to a lowly seventh place in world rankings following a their recent series loss against New Zealand, organisers are keen for local talent to hone their skills alongside the world's best players including Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen and Shane Watson.

    Featuring 69 local and 29 foreign stars, the five-team, 24-match league will be held from February 4-23 across two stadiums in Sharjah and Dubai — Pakistan's “home away from home” since the 2009 terror attack.

    The teams were sold to private consortiums for a sum of $93 million across 10 years, with $200,000 salaries for top-tier players and relatively handsome paydays for middle-tier and emerging talent.

    The winning side, meanwhile, will bring home $1 million.

    Former captain and legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram said the league was vital for Pakistan to match the fast-rising standards of other Twenty20 teams.

    “Look at where Indian cricket is now because of the Indian Premier League,” he said, referring to the brash, glitzy tournament first launched in 2008 whose model has been emulated by other leading teams including Australia and the West Indies.

    “By rubbing shoulders, by competing against and by sharing the dressing rooms with high profile players all the Indian players have benefitted and I envisage the same in the PSL,” added Akram, who is the bowling coach for Kolkata's team.

    “We have been struggling to match other teams,” agreed Shoaib Malik, a former captain who was part of Pakistan team which lost a Twenty20 series in New Zealand 2-1 last month.

    “The PSL provides a launching pad for the future generation of players as four emerging players in each team will learn a lot which is good for the future of Pakistan cricket,” he added.

    Not everyone is as optimistic, with organisers privately admitting that in order to be viable the tournament will need to return to Pakistan for greater gate and TV revenues, while rampant piracy puts a question mark over the profitability of kit merchandising.

    With lower salary caps than leagues elsewhere, it will also need to steer clear of the ever-present threat of fixing that has hit its predecessor leagues in India and Bangladesh, resulting in bans for the likes of international stars Shanthakumaran Sreesanth of India and Mohammad Ashraful of Bangladesh.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ArshadK's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating we need to see how it goes for a season or two

  3. #3
    Senior Member sami's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Well overdue. Should be played in Pakistan next year
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  4. #4
    Member Latif's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Quote Originally Posted by sami View Post
    Well overdue. Should be played in Pakistan next year
    I am surprised at the volume of interest. It can be far greater if based in Pakistan

  5. #5
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    PSL: Nawaz, Wright star as Quetta hammer Islamabad on opening day

    Mohammad Nawaz picked up 4-13 and Wright smashed 86 off 53 balls as Quetta Gladiators beat Islamabad United by eight wickets in a low-scoring opening encounter of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

    An explosive knock of 35 off 20 balls from United's Andre Russell drove the capital's franchise to a first innings total of 128 runs as the Gladiators threatened to run away with the game after winning the toss and bowling first.

    United lost six wickets for just 64 runs, with 21-year-old left-arm spinner Nawaz doing the majority of the damage.

    The Pakistan Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, who is also leading Islamabad, came to the crease and was doing the repair work immediately after his side lost Babar Azam and Imran Khalid in quick succession. But it wasn't until he was joined by West Indian all-rounder.

    The pick of the bowlers from Quetta was left-arm spinner Nawaz who took four wickets conceding just 13 runs in his quota of four overs on a pitch which supported him and other spinners.

    Nawaz got the prize wickets of Shane Watson and Sam Billings, castling the batsmen from Australia and England respectively.

    Quetta made light work of the total with Wright smashing four sixes and 11 fours in his blistering knock.

    The England international remained unbeaten with Nawaz chipping in with 22 as the Gladiators crossed the finish line in just 16 overs.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Great to see it getting kicked off

  7. #7
    Senior Member manuu's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    This is a chance for the youngsters to shine

  8. #8
    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Gladiators vs United: 5 conclusions from the PSL opener

    Raise your hand if you knew who Mohammad Nawaz was before the PSL started. In an interview on the sidelines of the match, Nawaz was at pains to explain that just a couple of weeks ago, he had been representing Pakistan-A in Dubai, when the England Lions had come to play, and that he had also been doing well for National Bank in the domestic circuit.

    But if we missed those performances, this match made Pakistan sit up and take notice of a young left-arm spinner with immaculate control and a great cricketing brain.

    Allowing only 13 runs in his four overs while picking up four wickets is a complete spinner’s performance, and it set up the match for the Gladiators. Shane Watson was foxed, Sam Billings given a dose of reality, Babar Azam made to look like Umar Akmal, and Imran Khalid suckered into a loose slog.

    If his bowling was sublime, his composure in the middle-order was rather pleasing.

    No loose shots, rotation of the strike to the other, well-set partner, and sensible running between the wickets spoke of a man who understood his game very well and read the match situation even better.

    Pakistan’s need for spinning options is pressing, given the ban on Yasir Shah, but on the evidence of this match, perhaps Imad Wasim needs to be looking over his shoulders too.

    The argument that foreign players will benefit greatly by playing Pakistani spinners in the UAE has much merit, but the value of Mohammad Nawaz taking out Shane Watson is even higher.

    The PSL had thrown up its first bonafide young star and all of a sudden, Pakistan spinners’ cabinet does not seem bare anymore.

    Anwar Ali’s first over had historic significance and he turned it into a maiden.

    But it could have been worse had Shane Watson been able to pierce the off-side field. Thrice he slapped Ali’s short bowling, thrice it was blocked from going to the boundary.

    One short ball was pulled to the boundary in the second over, but it was clear that Anwar was struggling with his length.

    An in-form batsman would’ve probably capitalised more on the loose deliveries on offer, and it is difficult to see him escape the wrath of Chris Gayle were he to bowl the same length at him.

    More worryingly, Anwar's inability to correct his mistake and adjust his length is cause for concern.

    In comparison, Umar Gul was also carted, by Andre Russell, but his reaction to being hit for 20 runs in his second over was to deliver a final over of the innings that leaked only seven.

    The two men are likely to be competing for the same spot in the World T20 squad and Pakistan will surely opt for someone who isn’t struggling for form, rhythm and control.

    Much hard work awaits both Anwar Ali and Umar Gul if they are to have a fighting chance to be selected for the World T20 squad.

    On his day, Ahmed Shehzad is a devastating player. But those days seem too far and few in between some very ordinary performances, and the first match continued in much the same vein.

    Offering a tame catch to the impressive Imran Khalid, Shehzad squandered an opportunity to take his time, get the measure of the pitch, rotate the strike, and even to pick up some pointers from his partner.

    For far too long, Shehzad’s over-estimation of his ability has seen Pakistan suffer.

    As he will soon discover, chances are beginning to run out for him and sustained failure in the PSL will see him drop out of national reckoning too.

    New spinners have already made their mark, what if a new opening batsman also makes his?

    Speaking of opening batsmen, Luke Wright’s unbeaten knock deserved recognition of sorts but for Mohammad Nawaz’s impact on the match.

    But in carting around Mohammad Irfan, Samuel Badree and Andre Russell, Wright provided the perfect template of what an opening batsman should be doing with aplomb.

    Shehzad and other opening batsmen, please take note.

    Gladiators seem fortunate to have stumbled upon a winning formula in the first match of the tournament; the challenge will now be to maintain the high standards they have set for themselves.

    Passion is often used as a measure to gauge player involvement in his game or club.

    Wasim Akram has travelled far and wide, to all corners of the globe, coaching young cricketers and offering bowling consultancies.

    But it has been a while since Akram was spotted sulking like he used to in his playing days, when he’d be witnessing a Pakistani batting collapse from the dressing room. As United crashed and burned in the first innings, Akram’s sulk was back.

    In older times, that would have meant a very, very fiery bowling performance from Akram and in most cases, snatching the initiative back from the opposition.

    His helplessness to impact proceedings directly saw him recoil into silence in the dugout, but one thing is obvious: PSL has reignited passion for the domestic game in Wasim Akram. Long may it continue.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Mohammad Nawaz could be what the team has been looking for

  10. #10
    Senior Member Greenstar's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    On paper Islamabad look strong.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenstar View Post
    On paper Islamabad look strong.
    They managed to beat Karachi today. Only just

  12. #12
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Darren Sami has made Zalmi look respectable. Big 6s

  13. #13
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Seem to be all low scoring games?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sinbad's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Quote Originally Posted by Amjad Hussain View Post
    Seem to be all low scoring games?
    but they are close games and that's entertaining.

  15. #15
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Quote Originally Posted by Amjad Hussain View Post
    Seem to be all low scoring games?
    Yes I think the bowlers have been on top.

  16. #16
    Member Jabba's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Shame couldn't be held in Pakistan would have got much bigger gates

  17. #17
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
    Shame couldn't be held in Pakistan would have got much bigger gates
    Most money comes from advertising revenues and tv rights

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jameel's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Umar Akmal sizzles as Qalandars beat Gladiators by 63 runs

    Umar Akmal silenced his critics with a 40-ball 93 to help Lahore Qalandars register their first win and end Quetta Gladiators' unbeaten run in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

    Umar, who had been under fire for his recent off-field antics, strengthened his case for the World T20 in a blistering knock which included eight sixes and six boundaries and propelled Lahore to 194/3, the PSL's highest total.

    Gladiators vs Qalandars - As it happened

    The Pakistan middle-order batsman was ably supported by South Africa's Cameron Delport who hit 73 off 55 balls to dent the bowling figures of Quetta. Umar Gul came in for some real treatment, conceding 50 from four overs while emerging star Mohammad Nawaz went for 31 from his three overs.

    In the chase, Quetta suffered the worst possible starts, losing Ahmed Shehzad, Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen inside the powerplay.

    Nawaz (42) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (31) combined in a solid stand to give the response some impetus, Quetta were dismissed for 131 in a stunning collapse, losing the last seven wickets for just 21 runs.

    Left-arm off spinner, Zafar Gohar, also a potential candidate for the World T20 squad, picked up 4/14 in 3.2 overs to give Azhar Ali's Qalandars a much-needed win.
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  19. #19
    Member Latif's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameel View Post
    Umar Akmal sizzles as Qalandars beat Gladiators by 63 runs

    Umar Akmal silenced his critics with a 40-ball 93 to help Lahore Qalandars register their first win and end Quetta Gladiators' unbeaten run in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

    Umar, who had been under fire for his recent off-field antics, strengthened his case for the World T20 in a blistering knock which included eight sixes and six boundaries and propelled Lahore to 194/3, the PSL's highest total.

    Gladiators vs Qalandars - As it happened

    The Pakistan middle-order batsman was ably supported by South Africa's Cameron Delport who hit 73 off 55 balls to dent the bowling figures of Quetta. Umar Gul came in for some real treatment, conceding 50 from four overs while emerging star Mohammad Nawaz went for 31 from his three overs.

    In the chase, Quetta suffered the worst possible starts, losing Ahmed Shehzad, Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen inside the powerplay.

    Nawaz (42) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (31) combined in a solid stand to give the response some impetus, Quetta were dismissed for 131 in a stunning collapse, losing the last seven wickets for just 21 runs.

    Left-arm off spinner, Zafar Gohar, also a potential candidate for the World T20 squad, picked up 4/14 in 3.2 overs to give Azhar Ali's Qalandars a much-needed win.
    Was awesome hitting by Akmal.
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  20. #20
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Re: Pakistan launches high-octane Super League in UAE

    Quote Originally Posted by Latif View Post
    Was awesome hitting by Akmal.
    Just saw it. I am well impressed as i am 1 of his critics.

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