Don’t repeat the mistakes that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka made with the Pakistan Super League!

Published: April 12, 2014

The PSL is set to copy the format used by the IPL or the Australian BBL and its objective is to help bring international cricket back to Pakistan. PHOTO: ZAHOORUL HAQ/EXPRESS/FILE

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) interim Chairman Najam Sethi announced on Tuesday via Twitter that the PCB is keen to organise the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in January 2015 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This is not the first time that the PCB has made an announcement about the window for the PSL. In 2012, the PCB hired former International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Haroon Lorgat, to drive the board in the correct direction towards a proposed T20 League. Then in January 2013, the PCB officially launched the logo for such a league, named it the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and announced March 26 as the starting date for the league.

The PSL is set to copy the format used by the Indian Premier League (IPL) or the Big Bash League (BBL) of Australia and its objective is to help bring international cricket back to Pakistan. Pakistan has not been host to international cricketing events since the terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team’s bus in March 2009.

However, the question is how should the PSL be planned in order to get maximum benefits for the players and indirectly get international cricket back to Pakistan?

The Faysal Bank T20 Cup is the current T20 domestic tournament used by the PCB but it is nowhere near international standards. Too many teams – 17 to be exact – and too few matches and days of play make it ridiculously uncompetitive. In addition, too many players along with an unequal mix of international and experienced players, makes many of the teams a laughing stock.

They also need to take into consideration that teams like Lahore, Karachi and Sialkot are flooded with international players while others don’t even have a single member with international experience. And then, there is the matter of a team getting maximum four or five matches every season in a tournament with 17 teams and then being blamed for not producing talented players of better quality.

It is essential for all these factors to be given serious thought before the PSL is finalised.

Since the PCB has planned to schedule the PSL in UAE, we can set aside the argument of home-and-away matches for this season at least. But the number of participating teams must be reduced to six or at the most eight to get maximum benefit out of the players and increase competition between individual players and teams.

I have no doubt that a lower number of teams will improve the quality of participating players.

In order to give each province their due representation, the teams should be named Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad after the national and provincial capitals. And there should also be a Sialkot team since they have the most dominant side in T20 history ever.

Each team should consist of a squad of 18 members including an icon player, six foreigners and two emerging players from the under-19s. The rest should be the players present in the national pool. All the players in the pool should be divided into three categories – A, B and C – with category A having a maximum base price and category C having the minimum. The icon players may get individual price tags based on their attributes.

The final 11 for each match must have a maximum of four foreigners and at least one emerging player. This distribution would neither disturb the equilibrium of a team nor shift the pendulum to one or two teams. The teams must play each other twice or at least once in the round robin stage. At the end of the round matches, the leader of the table should get a direct entry to the final and the team at second or third position may play a playoff to get their ticket to the final.

Another big concern in Pakistani cricket is the salary per match. Pakistani players are reported to receive very low pay for every match and although the PSL will attract many sponsors and hence, players’ salary is likely to get a huge boost, we must remember the non-payment issues that haunted the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL) in earlier years. With time, this issue became big enough for the players to eventually lose interest in such leagues.

Moreover, payment of 50% of the contracted pay check before the league or in the early stages of the tournament will also help PCB’s cause to a great affect.

Of course, authorities at the PCB and PSL are considered wise enough to raise this league to international standards or at least make it better than the present T20 tournament in the country. But as an ordinary but dedicated cricket fan, and especially Pakistani cricket fan, this was my humble attempt at presenting a basic plan for the impending PSL.

Israr Ahmed Hashmi

Israr Ahmed Hashmi

Originally a chemical engineering student at Punjab University but addicted to the game of cricket. He satisfies his hunger for the game by writing about it. He tweets @IamIsrarHashmi (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Paki

    Fool… There shouldn’t only be 6 teams. That’s way too little. I don’t see any problem with having a lot of teams that make up the numbers so many regions can have representation. There should be 20 teams (3 foreign teams) – Abbottabad, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Gwadar, Larkana, Sukkur, Waziristan, Mirpur, Kabul, Kandahar, Dubai.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    This guy gives (throws) statements around in a manner which is extremely unprofessional and immature. Somebody needs to tell him this is a professional organization he is handling, not a talk show. Such statements about PSL have embarrassed Pakistan before!Recommend

  • Hamza

    The lower number of teams means each team will get a larger amount of money from the revenue generated. This would only help them in getting better players for future editions and , therefore, automatically increasing the standards of PSL in the future.
    Plus, It will still be difficult to convince big international stars to play in the League at the beginning. How will we get foreign players for 20 whole teams? Competition would be much more fierce if the number of teams does not exceed 10. 20 teams will only make the tournament much more longer than the average viewer would want it to be. Viewership might even start falling towards the end (remember this is not the ICC World Cup that people would keep watching till the end for a month)
    And do tell me why should there be teams from Kabul, Kandahar and Dubai? This is the PAKISTAN Super League we are talking about. Pakistan is already a laughing stock and this is the last thing we need. Teams from Afghanistan and UAERecommend

  • Israr Ahmed Hashmi

    20 teams? Are you serious? We had 17 teams this time and nothing happened! Name any cricketer we found through Faysal Bank T20 (of 17 teams)? You can’t. Because we haven’t found any. Look at India, they found Virat Kohli, Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson and many more. Even Bangladesh found Nasir Hossain, Aftab Ahmed, Anamul Haque through BPL.Recommend

  • Alann

    Will Taliban be made stakeholders and given a chance to play in PSL so they don’t blow up ‘kafir’ cricketers of other countries like they attacked the Sri Lankans?Recommend


    how about having teams from Guatemala,Honduras and Papua new Guinea ?Recommend

  • Anoop

    Dilshan from Sri Lanka converted out of Islam to Buddhism. He will be lynched by a mob if the word gets out. His own security guards will kill him.

    So, any International cricketer has to be Sunni Muslim to truly be safe in Pakistan. Sadly, not too many Sunnis play in International teams.Recommend

  • Guest

    ” In order to give each province their due representation, the teams
    should be named Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad after
    the national and provincial capitals.”

    Why do you wish to divide cricket along provincial/regional lines ? This is not the national assembly deciding the political fate of the country in which due representation is important. This a sporting/commercial venture, the purpose of which is to entertain, generate revenue and in the process groom talented players for the national side.Recommend

  • umais

    As if all indian teams touring Pakistan were sunnis!!
    I believe that those attacks were done by either indian terrorists or tamil tigers.Recommend

  • lala

    Indian terrorists attacked sri lanlan team not taliban. Recommend

  • Kahna Kacha

    NHL, NBA and US baseball league has teams from Canada as well. Cricket in Dubai is due to Pakistani and Indian expats and Afghanistan became a cricketing nation because of Afghans living in Pakistan. Nothing wrong in including teams from these areas.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Then, please explain the attack on Sri Lankan team, which consists of Buddhists, Hindus and Christians.

    India was lucky. Sri Lanka was not.

    When you say “those attacks”, which ones are you talking about. Sri Lankan team attack?

    Sure, I believe you.. Were they Hindus from Pakistan? Or, India?

    If India, its completely justified after the Mumbai attacks. Tit for tat.Recommend

  • Hamza

    And while we’re at it…
    ….let’s have a team from Hong Kong too. There are Pakistanis in that team as well.
    Oh and let’s have team from Amsterdam as well cause Ahsan Adil plays for Holland.
    Moeen Ali is of Pakistani descent so a team representing Manchester and Birmingham

    And am I forgetting Imran Tahir? A team from Cape Town or Johannesburg
    There are Pakistanis in the Canadian team too so Toronto should also play
    The United States of America also has a team. Many of the players are Pakistani. So how about teams from New York, Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and Chicago?
    Pakistan Super League- Teams representing Pakistani cities onlyRecommend

  • donshon

    Anoopl, with your logic, women cricketers shouldn’t visit india, lest they want to be gang raped… such logic!Recommend

  • Lalit

    and who are those turbaned and bearded gentlemen who hate Cricket but very much like to play football with severed heads of Pakistani soldiers.Buddhist monks from India i guess…?Recommend

  • Paki

    The reason I’m including UAE is because nearly 1/5 of the country is from Pakistan and the tournament is in UAE. I included Afghanistan because of our close cultural ties and I really want to see them improve fast and it would be good practice for them. They’re our neighboring country and matches like Kandahar vs Quetta and Kabul vs Peshawar are bound to generate a lot of revenue. Sure, we could’ve included more foreign teams but I 20 is already a large enough number as it is.Recommend

  • Paki

    The English Premier League (football) has 20 teams so why can’t we? Although I think it is best if we temporarily stuck with 10-15 teams for now considering the UAE won’t generate much revenue from Pakistan domestic competition. Also if it were in Pakistan, the teams from AFG are good choices considering they’re the only foreigners that’d be willing to tour Pakistan.Recommend

  • Anoop

    Contrary to popular opinion, it is America which is the Rape Capital of the world.

    And, here is a report of how Rape is underreported in Pakistan.

    Is all Islamic Countries, please check the definition of a Rape and due to the 4 witness rule, its very hard to report Rape cases which can be proved. I would like to remind you of the infamous Musharaff line on Rape.

    Since, you bring up the topic, if there is one country which women should avoid going to then it is not India, either way you look at it.

    I’ve not given you the per-capita analysis. I’ll keep that for later if you choose to reply.

    Now, when it comes to Terror, which is the one country which one should avoid at all cost? Please be honest.Recommend

  • Anoop

    I thought Taliban were RAW agents and hence Indians.

    Choose one conspiracy theory dude.

    If you want to jump the ship named Conspiracy Theory, at least make sure there you don’t contradict your earlier Conspiracy Theories.Recommend

  • Hamza

    The Premier League has 20 teams and all of them are teams representing English cities. The clubs in English football have tons of money to spend. Pakistan Super League is starting from scratch. You can’t compare EPL and PSL.
    I have no problem if players from UAE and Afghanistan are included in the auction. Rather, I think a couple of players from smaller cricketing nations MUST be put on auction if they agree to play. But why have teams representing their cities?
    So what if 1/5 of UAE is from Pakistan? And how and why exactly will Kandahar vs Quetta and Kabul vs Peshawar generate a lot of revenue? Revenue generated per match depends on how strong the teams are and how many big names play in the two teams….not on the names of the cities.
    There are many Indians living in UAE. Why not a team from Dubai in IPL? India is a big country with many large, metropolitan cities but they still have only 8 teams.
    PSL must generate a lot of revenue in the first couple of seasons for there to be future seasonsRecommend

  • Israr Ahmed Hashmi

    EPL has 20 because Soccer teams seldom play International matches! You have maximum 4 months free time in an entire year (full of international matches) and maximum 2 months with atleast 5 countries free of international cricket. Plus, there is IPL. Pakistan is not reputed as much as India that players will give away the remaining of their free time after Internationals and IPL to T20 league hosted by Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sunny

    just remember 8 pakistanis died defending the sri lankans in that shootingRecommend

  • ABD

    @Anoop:- Of course, it’s none other than Pakistan……HahahahahahaRecommend

  • ABD

    No…they were your own dear ones….we have got other businesses to do, unlike you who only think of demeaning India..Recommend

  • South_Asian

    Don’t Know About Sri Lanka, But BPL 3 is coming soon.. With 8 Teams.. Expected Date: November 2015Recommend

  • Akshay Chandrashekar

    As usual. Blame others for… Is there anything, ANYTHING you Pakistanis believe to b your own mistake? Boss do you understand the gravity of the attack. 6 intetnational srilankan players were injured. And all you can say is someone else staged the attack and the pakistani security guards were sitting ducks.. Blah blah blah…. Recommend