PSL's Role in Pakistan's Meteoric Rise to ICC Championship 2017

Pakistan's national cricket team scored a historic win in Champions Trophy 2017 final against defending champions India on June 18th by the highest-ever margin of 180 runs in any ICC international tournament final. New players emerging from Pakistan Super League and the return of players like Mohammad Amir significantly strengthened the bottom-ranked Pakistan side to beat much higher-ranked teams, including India.

Pakistan Team Celebrating Champions Trophy 2017 Victory


Pakistan Team's Defiance:

The Pakistan team that barely made the cut to play in Champions Trophy as the 8th ranked team lost its very first match against arch-rival India by 124 runs in group B on June 4, 2017. Subsequently,  the team to went on to defeat top ranked South Africa, 4th ranked England and 7th ranked Sri Lanka to reach the trophy's final match against India.

Often described as "predictably unpredictable",  Pakistan XI bounced back strongly after being written off by most commentators and pundits. They demonstrated the resilience that also characterizes the people and the state of Pakistan both of which are often given the "failed" tag by Indian and western media.

Success Factors: 

There are many factors that are believed to have contributed to Pakistan's spectacular rise to the world champion status in international cricket. The team captain Sarfaraz Ahmad is not only a good leader but also a very good batsman-wicket keeper who keeps his cool under pressure. The return of aggressive paceman Mohammad Amir to the team after a long suspension for match-fixing has bolstered Pakistan's bowling attack. But, most of all, I believe it is the discovery and grooming of new talent in Pakistan Super League.

Pakistan Super League:

Pakistan Super League (PSL) is a T20 cricket league with 6 franchise teams-- one each in the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Multan. Multan franchise was just recently sold by PSL to the Schon Group for $41.6 million over 8 years. PSL generates millions of dollars in PCB income that helps promote cricket in the country. It also exposes new talent that would otherwise remain hidden.

Several youngsters in Pakistan side who shined in the recent Champions Trophy matches were selected after they played and performed well in PSL 2, the league's second season earlier this year. For example Fakhar Zaman (Lahore Qalandars), Hassan Ali (Peshawar Zalmi), Shadab Khan (Islamabad United),  Rumman Raees (Islamabad United).

Opener Fakhar Zaman gave Pakistan the rapid start it needed with the runs that built the foundation for other batsmen down the line to capitalize on; Mohammad Amir struck early with quick top order wickets and then Hassan Ali and Shadab Khan kept up the pressure with their aggressive bowling. These youngsters also energized the rest of the team, particularly the more senior low-performing players, to do better.

Credit to Najam Sethi:

PSL chairman Najam Sethi has played a crucial role in setting up the PSL that is giving young talent an opportunity to play with the best of international players and be discovered.  It's a platform that highlights Pakistan's young talent that can simply not be ignored by the Pakistan national team selectors.

Sethi can also be credited with bringing Mohammad Amir back into Pakistan team in the face of significant opposition by senior players, both former and current.

Summary:

New players emerging from PSL and the return of players like Mohammad Amir have significantly strengthened Pakistan side as witnessed by their historic win against higher-ranked teams, including India, in Champions Trophy 2017 held in the United Kingdom. PSL is also generating the needed revenue to promote cricket at the grassroots level. PSL, if used properly, can help Pakistan become a more powerful professional side using the best available talent in the country.

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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#PSL youngsters who played for #Pakistan in #CT17 have all become instant celebrities and millionaires

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/pakistan-hit-a-home-run-india-sarfraz-ahmed-icc-champions-trophy-2017-4714264/

The young Pakistani players have become instant millionaires after a string of cash and other rewards announced. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced to give cash award of ten million rupees to each player and invited them for a lunch. The PCB also announced that besides the cash bonus of 29 million rupees due to the team as part of their central contracts, the Board would also give each player a cash bonus of one million rupees. The team has already pocketed prize money of around 200 million rupees from the ICC for winning the trophy. Famous builder Riaz Malik has also announced cash prizes of one million rupees each and plots for the players while others are slated to follow soon.

Riaz Haq said…
Ode to Team Green
Michael Kugelman

https://www.dawn.com/news/1340797/ode-to-team-green

what struck me the most was this: the team that triumphed on Sunday is an admirable microcosm of Pakistan on the whole: young and unpredictable, but also odds-defying and resilient. Few expected it to defeat England in the semi finals, much less take out the mighty Indians in the final. This team, like the nation it represents, is often counted out, but still manages to persevere.

Recall all the times Pakistan has been counted out. In March 2009, the US military adviser David Kilkullen famously predicted that the Pakistani state could collapse within one to six months. Nearly 100 months later, the state has yet to fall.

In 2008, financial distress brought on by plummeting foreign reserves sparked concerns that Pakistan could experience an economic meltdown. Nearly a decade later, Pakistan would never be mistaken for the next Asian tiger, but its economy is in a much better place. According to Pakistan government figures, GDP growth has hit its highest level in eight years. Foreign exchange reserves have shot up to nearly $22 billion.

Between 2007 and 2014, the Pakistani Taliban and its allies waged a relentless, nationwide campaign of terrorist violence that appeared unstoppable. Today, Pakistan still experiences terrorism and must grapple with extremist entities, but terrorist violence has fallen significantly, thanks in great part to Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

Most recently, Pakistan has faced the prospect of a diplomatic isolation campaign by India. New Delhi may have successfully orchestrated a boycott of a Saarc conference in Islamabad and railed against ‘Pakistani terrorism’ in global forums, but Pakistan, through CPEC, has become a lynchpin for Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. In the process it has further cemented its close relationship with the world’s likely next superpower, and strengthened relations with key states like Russia. Let’s be clear: Pakistan may not be the world’s top power broker, but it is not diplomatically isolated.

To be sure, Pakistan faces challenges in the coming months and years far graver than anything that will be thrown at (or should I say bowled to?) its national cricket squad. Pakistan’s proliferation of policy problems — radicalisation and extremist sentiment in society, millions of kids out of school, malnutrition and stunted growth among children, structural corruption, and, in my view, the only true existential crisis that confronts Pakistan, outright water scarcity — are as daunting as they are diverse.

And yet if there is one teachable moment from Sunday’s victory, it is that Pakistan is often down but never out. Just as a young batsman named Fakhar Zaman seemingly came out of nowhere (at least I’d never heard of him) to produce a performance for the ages and help avert a defeat predicted by even the most learned of observers, there’s reason to believe Pakistan will find a way to defy the odds and overcome, or at least manage, challenges that appear to be insurmountable.

After all, if an ignorant American like me could follow Sunday’s match, with all its machinations and maneuvers, then surely anything is possible, no matter how daunting.
Riaz Haq said…
ICC revenue sharing

http://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/40374596

India will receive almost a quarter of the total cash handed out by cricket's world governing body after challenging initial attempts to reduce their share.

The BCCI will receive $405m (£319m) over the cycle of 2016 to 2023 - three times more than England's $139m (£110m), the second largest share.

The International Cricket Council's board had voted 13-1 in favour of India being allocated $293m (£227m) in April.

That led to reports India were planning to boycott the Champions Trophy.

After the vote - on proposals for a new financial model intended to redistribute revenue more equally - the BCCI missed the deadline to name a squad for the tournament.

A team was later selected, with India eventually losing in the final to Pakistan, but a BCCI statement explaining the delay said its secretary Amitabh Choudhary would continue to negotiate with the ICC, adding that it was "keeping its legal options open".

The changes to the ICC's revenue distribution model, ratified by its full council on Thursday, will see South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand and West Indies receive $128m (£101m) each, while Zimbabwe will receive $94m (£74m).

Ireland and Afghanistan, who on Thursday were granted Test status, will share $240m (£189m) of funding with the ICC's associate members.

Analysis

by BBC sports news correspondent Joe Wilson

There is a logic in some circles of Indian cricket which runs; 'if we generate 70% of income in the global game, shouldn't we get 70% of the revenue?'

It's an argument the ICC has had to confront, keeping India on board while trying to ensure some equity in financial distribution. After all, it is a global game (even if India - and the IPL in particular - is in a world of its own with a global marketplace within its own borders).

Thus it was back in April that the ICC board voted in a financial package that saw India take $293m over the next cycle. Discontent followed, as did mutterings of not participating in the Champions Trophy.

Now the compromise gives them $405m, which is significantly more, but nowhere near the figure approaching $600m hardliners may have wanted. Where does the extra money to distribute to India come from? After all, the ICC now has two new full members to fund.

Well, Ireland and Afghanistan will see their income increased dramatically but will still be a long way behind Zimbabwe. If not in cricketing terms, then in finances.

Riaz Haq said…
Ex Zimbabwe batsman Grant Flower has played a quite role as a batting coach in helping Pakistan win Champions Trophy 2017

http://www.herald.co.zw/the-untold-zim-touch-to-pakistans-success/

Robson Sharuko Senior Sports Editor
PAKISTAN wrote one of world sport’s greatest success stories by defying the odds to win the 2017
International Cricket Council Champions Trophy at the Oval in London on Sunday and hidden,
somewhere, in that remarkable triumph was the priceless Zimbabwean contribution to that cause.
Coming into the tournament with the least ranking of all the participating teams, eighth in ODI
cricket in the world, Pakistan made a mockery of the rankings to recover from a first­game battering
and crush bitter rivals India in the final.
Along the way, they also swept away South Africa and thrashed hosts England in the semi­finals
before a stunning all­round show in the final annihilated India with none of their four victims
managing to score more than 236 runs in their innings.
The Pakistan cricketers were feted like kings, on their return home, as their cricket­mad nation gave
them a fitting heroes’ welcome as the fans celebrated the country’s first world 50­overs tournament
success story since 1992. “Hopefully this win, everyone will remember — not today, not tomorrow,
but for a very long, long time,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
“Now we are the champions, hopefully this win will boost Pakistan cricket and hopefully all playing
nations is coming to Pakistan.” Coach Mickey Arthur also touched on the absence of international
cricket in Pakistan since some militants attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 forcing
virtually all the world’s teams not to tour that country for security reasons.
“I’m sure that the nation of Pakistan is really happy tonight — they deserve it. You talk about our
players not playing at home but also the fans not identifying with heroes because they just don’t see
international cricket,’’ said Arthur. ‘’That’s massive. So let’s hope that this really kick­starts that
momentum in Pakistan again.”
What wasn’t mentioned, though, was how Zimbabwe played a helping hand in laying the foundation
for Pakistan’s sensational triumph. In May two years ago, the Chevrons broke ranks with their Test
playing counterparts when Zimbabwe became the first major cricket playing country in the world to
tour Pakistan for three ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals.
All the matches were played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, the irony of the hosting venue and
city — where those militants attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 —not lost on the watching
world.
All the matches attracted capacity crowds with a number of Pakistan players who would feature
prominently in the country’s 2017 ICC Champions Trophy success — skipper Sarfarz, fast bowler
Junaid Khan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali — playing key roles in
their country’s success in both the Twenty20s and the ODIs against Zimbabwe.
The matches were competitive with Pakistan winning the first Twenty20 International by five runs,
with three balls to spare, while they won the second T20 by just two wickets after chasing the
Chevrons’ 175­3.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Cricket Team’s Eerily Similar Results to 1992 World Cup Win Has Fans Praying For Another Miracle
In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistan had won just one of their first five matches, before mounting a stunning comeback and going on to lift the trophy when none had given them a chance.

https://www.news18.com/news/buzz/icc-cricket-world-cup-pakistan-vs-south-africa-pakistan-cricket-teams-eerily-similar-results-to-1992-world-cup-win-has-fans-praying-for-another-miracle-2200843.html


After carrying the weight of the stinging public response for an entire week since India annihilated them, Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men move to Birmingham with hope – they have proved that they are still alive – that their route to the final four remains. The light inside them was not broken.

As the team now will have to run the table against New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid comparisons with the three times Pakistan have hoisted global trophies, the 1992 World Cup, 2009 World T20 and 2017 Champions Trophy. Each time they had to reach sudden death in the group stage before taking all before them.

There seems to be more witchcraft at play this time than ever, as Pakistan’s journey at the tournament till now co-incidentally mirrors their 1992 World Cup triumph.

In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistan had won just one of their first five matches, before mounting a stunning comeback and going on to lift the trophy when none had given them a chance.

This time too, Pakistan won just one of their first five matches and would have been certain of heading home had they lost the tie against the Proteas.

Just like in 1992, Pakistan lost their opener to West Indies this time, won the second match, lost the fourth and fifth ties and won the sixth one. Their third matches in both editions were washed out.

Pakistan’s opponent for the seventh match, in both editions, are New Zealand, which remained unbeaten till that stage.

The similarities don’t end there, as Pakistan fans would point out. This is the first time since 1992 that the World Cup’s league stage is being held in the round-robin format.

Although this could all very well be coincidence, the lingering feeling of deja-vu hasn’t alluded fans, who are amused and excited, with some prophesizing that Pakistan is about to repeat their 1992 World Cup history.

So the wise oracles of Twitter are making predictions, other fans are busy issuing a word of caution: Don’t take Srafaraz Ahmed and his men lightly. The remaining, are chugging the humour that comes with the observation.
Riaz Haq said…
You can try, but you can never out-Pakistan #Pakistan. Other teams are involved, but #Pakistan is always central to everything at #ICCWorldCup #cricket tournaments https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/27126281

Australia may own the most World Cup trophies, and England might have hosted the most events, but the World Cup is just for Pakistan.

Other teams are involved, but Pakistan is always central to everything. In 1999, nothing could upstage the Lance Klusener-Allan Donald run out, but Pakistan were right there, stinking up the final. 2011 was the official opening of India's new thousand-year reign, and no one was more accommodating than the Pakistani fielders when it came to Sachin Tendulkar. Twice they have co-hosted the World Cup - in 1987 and 1996 - and not made the title round. In 2007, they played their part in the biggest upset in sporting history.

This World Cup, Pakistan were outstanding on the field, making 105 in their opener (against a team that would end with only one more win) and then notching up a match-winning 348 (against the World No. 1s) as their follow up. They finished by stumbling over the line against Afghanistan and scoring just the one six in a game they had to hit about 34 of them to beat the net run-rate.

That's a solid effort, but other teams have been fun too.

Dimuth Karunaratne bowled himself, before throwing the ball to a random uncle who hasn't bowled in years to win the match. They also had no swimming pools at their hotel. And Lasith Malinga destroyed teams while carrying something that shook like a bowl full of jelly.

And Afghanistan, I mean, quite the tournament they had. Two players sent home, a selector demoted, their fans jumped a fence and they finished not winning any games with their captain almost getting hit by a ball he was supposed to catch.

These are strong efforts, but it's not quite the full Pakistan, and as we all know, you never go the full Pakistan.

I am old enough to remember when Pakistan fans still weren't sure about Babar Azam. Sure, he was pretty, but did he score fast enough, was he Kohlilite, or Umarish? So the dramatic turn of events that lead to him being outed as an Avenger after the New Zealand knock was shocking. Pakistan had their own cricketing beatification; pedestals couldn't be built high enough to place this man on.

People should be excited by Babar - though you could say they should have been before. He is graceful sex on wheels, your favourite pizza, but with no calories. I have never seen him plug in his phone, but I bet he commands the cord, finds the charge point without looking, and needs no force at all while staring dreamily at a stunning landscape.

But can we dial down the hyperbolic overreaction from a One Direction concert to normal Pakistan over-adulation levels? The man doesn't levitate. At least not yet.
Riaz Haq said…
Ramiz Raja, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has stated that the just finished Australian tour of Pakistan brought in record-breaking revenue for the PCB. According to Ramiz, the tour was a success not just in terms of cricket, but also in terms of business, with the PCB making a profit of up to Rs. 2 billion.

https://heypakistan.org/2015-2/


The 59-year-old said that Pakistan’s recent successes, which included a historic triumph over arch-rival India in the 2021 T20 World Cup, revived the country’s supporters’ fervour, resulting in sold-out stadiums throughout Australia’s visit to the country.

“With recent strong results, our cricket team has instilled trust in the public, propelling us to new heights on a commercial level.” Only Australia’s home tour made a two-billion-dollar profit. As a result, it’s a good indicator for us moving forward,” Ramiz said.

Despite the tour’s great success, former national team captain feels there is still more work to be done. He stated that the PCB’s goal is to strengthen the country’s cricket facilities and pitches.

He stated that Pakistan’s next blockbuster season is crucial for the country, and that PCB must work tirelessly to ensure that the country’s infrastructure is up to par. This year, Pakistan will host the West Indies, England, and New Zealand, as the Men in Green prepare for their first real home season in a decade.
Riaz Haq said…
American Money Has Discovered Indian Cricket
Billion-dollar investment funds and N.F.L. ownership groups are among those angling for a foothold in the Indian Premier League. The returns, not the sport, are the draw.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/11/01/sports/cricket/indian-cricket-us-investors.html

By Mike Jakeman
Nov. 1, 2022
In the decade since he founded the private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, Gerry Cardinale has acquired stakes in sports properties as varied as Fenway Sports Group, the Yankees’ YES Network and the Italian soccer team A.C. Milan. One of his partners at RedBird, Alec Scheiner, previously worked as a vice president of the N.F.L.’s Dallas Cowboys, and later ran the Cleveland Browns.

Both men, then, are quite familiar with what a billion-dollar business looks like. The sport where they see the biggest upside these days, though, might be a surprise.

“When we first started looking at cricket, we were by no means experts,” Scheiner said. “But the more we studied it, the more we realized it felt like the N.F.L. did 20 years ago.”

That was why, in June 2021, RedBird bought a 15 percent stake in Rajasthan Royals, a team that competes in the Indian Premier League, for $37.5 million. The money that has poured into the league over the past 15 months suggests that RedBird got a bargain.

Four months after that deal closed, an I.P.L. expansion team sold for $940 million. Eight months after that, the league negotiated new television and digital broadcasting rights agreements worth $6.2 billion.

At more than $1 billion a year, that means India’s top cricket competition — a closed league with only 10 teams — now generates annual broadcast revenues on par with top leagues like the N.F.L. ($10 billion a year), England’s Premier League (about $6.9 billion) and the N.B.A. ($2.7 billion).

On a per-match basis, in fact, the I.P.L., whose season lasts only two months, now ranks behind only the N.F.L.

And suddenly a lot of people want in.

Disney and Sony were among the bidders in the broadcast rights tender last year. CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm that used to own the Formula 1 auto racing series, just added an I.P.L. team to a portfolio that already owns interests in rugby and soccer. Among those it beat out? The American owners of the N.F.L.’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the English soccer giant Manchester United.

“I’m not sure even we thought there would be so much global demand for the franchises,” Scheiner said. RedBird’s $37.5 million investment has most likely quadrupled in value in just a year. And with new investors circling, most experts agree that every I.P.L. franchise is now worth at least $1 billion or more.

That there is money to be made in cricket in India is a new phenomenon. As recently as the 1990s, the sport’s governing body in India had to pay the state-owned broadcaster, Doordarshan, to show the national team’s matches. The start of the I.P.L. in 2008 changed all that. Teams in the league play Twenty20, a television-friendly, three-hour version of the game that has eclipsed the multiple-day Test match format, which had given cricket its fusty and pedestrian image. I.P.L. matches now draw domestic TV audiences of more than 200 million.

The league’s ascent has been rapid. Its architect, Lalit Modi, was a midranking executive at the sport’s governing body in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He correctly spotted that Twenty20 could marry India’s love of cricket to a host of commercial opportunities, and in late 2007 he pulled off a series of unlikely negotiations to assemble a sports league from scratch.

Riaz Haq said…
It’s probably heresy to even think it, but could the Pakistan Super League, a six-year-old six-team domestic competition, be the world’s strongest Twenty20 nursery?


by Malcolm Knox

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/homegrown-pakistan-enter-t20-cricket-s-premier-league-20221110-p5bx0x.html

Orthodox logic says no. Of course the Indian Premier League, the all-star pageant that claims to be cricket’s NBA, NFL and Champions League rolled in together, has raised the income of every participant and the standard of the 20-over format as a whole.

Innovation in cricket has been turbocharged by the IPL, where the best of the best are challenged to produce their best, under pressure, in an annual whirlwind of noise, music and dollars. If you’re not in the IPL, as Paul Keating might say, you’re camping out.

And yet the young Pakistan team, none of whom are permitted to play in the IPL, came up with another performance, this time in Wednesday’s T20 World Cup semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground against New Zealand, to suggest that the IPL is not, or not exclusively, where it’s at.

Whether it was Shadab Khan’s brilliant direct-hit run out of Devon Conway, the clever and varied bowling from the four-man pace attack, or the spin craft of Shadab and Mohammad Nawaz, Pakistan again proved that they play their Twenty20 cricket better than just about anyone on the globe. To cap it off, their two best-credentialed batters, openers Babar Azam (53 off 42 balls) and Mohammad Rizwan (57 off 43), finally opened the valves and set up a convincing victory. In the end, they were steered home by Mohammad Haris (30 off 26), one of their four under-23 youth picks, who has only played his cricket inside Pakistan and a mere 25 PSL games at that. On Sunday, Haris will bat at first-drop in a World Cup final.


All 11 of the star-studded New Zealand team have IPL experience; none of the Pakistanis. Due to India’s ban on Pakistan players, which has been in force since the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008, the IPL’s first year, Babar’s team have had to grow their T20 nous either by finding gigs in Twenty20 leagues around the world or purely inside Pakistan.

Their youngest members of the current squad possess a tiny fraction of the T20 experience of their opponents in this World Cup. A few weeks ago, in the highlight of the tournament, Pakistan outplayed India’s galacticos for 39 of 40 overs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Their eclipse of the Kiwis brought to mind those old rugby league games when NSW Country came to town and, on this same patch of turf, towelled up the City glamour boys. When they do get a bit more exposure to this T20 caper, Pakistan will be pretty good.

Their most effective bowlers on Wednesday were left-arm beanpole Shaheen Shah Afridi (2/24 from four overs), the evergreen Haris Rauf (0/32) and teenager Naseem Shah (0/30). Rauf has played some BBL for the Melbourne Stars, Afridi nothing outside the PSL, Naseem only PSL plus a season in the Caribbean league.

As with several of their teammates, they are IPL squillionaires only in their dreams. Without the new-ball swing they have enjoyed in other venues, they tied down the strong Kiwi top order with excellent control of their lengths, a mixture of cutters and slower balls, and game plans as precisely tailored as if they knew the batters from years in the IPL.

The fielding – also brought up almost entirely on PSL fields - was as athletic as any seen in the tournament so far. Kane Williamson (46 off 42 balls) and Daryl Mitchell (53 not out off 35) batted only as well as the Pakistanis allowed, which is to say, more watchfully than they would have wished. New Zealand kept wickets in hand but were unable to convert them into runs.
Riaz Haq said…
It’s probably heresy to even think it, but could the Pakistan Super League, a six-year-old six-team domestic competition, be the world’s strongest Twenty20 nursery?


by Malcolm Knox

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/homegrown-pakistan-enter-t20-cricket-s-premier-league-20221110-p5bx0x.html


For a semi-final, it was surprisingly one-sided. Pakistan outclassed New Zealand as thoroughly as New Zealand had outclassed Australia here in the tournament opener last month and, like that game, this one was decided early. This coming Sunday in Melbourne, whether they end up playing IPL-rich India or IPL-rich England, Pakistan have a chance to make their point in the most definitive way.

So what gives? Pakistan won a T20 World Cup in 2009, before 13 years of IPL exclusion set in. Now they have a chance to win their second, against India or England. Does Pakistan’s quality suggest that the IPL is not quite the cut above the rest that it ought to be, or has the PSL snuck beneath world cricket’s radar to be, pound for pound and rupee for rupee, the best school for this form of cricket?

As long as India maintains its political ban on Pakistan players, the question will remain unanswered. International players, including Australians, who have participated in the PSL have been saying quietly for a few years that the cricket there is on par with the IPL. As thousands of Pakistan fans kept standing in lines outside the SCG long after the start of play can testify, they have had to learn how to wait and to be cut out of the magic circle; and while waiting, to make their sport in their own way. Once they got in, both on the field and off, they were the dominant presence.
Riaz Haq said…
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Riaz Haq said…
#England thrash sorry India to set up #T20worldcup22 final against #Pakistan. #English openers took on world’s best-supported & most lavishly resourced side and toyed with them like a cat might a ball of wool, making them look approximately as threatening. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/nov/10/england-thrash-india-to-reach-t20-world-cup-final-against-pakistan-cricket?CMP=share_btn_tw


Pakistan await in Melbourne on Sunday, and will not have enjoyed what they saw of their opponents here. England reached 170 with all 10 wickets and four overs to spare, Hales (who scored 86 off 47) and Buttler (80 off 49) producing not just the largest but in any sense you like the greatest opening partnership in England’s Twenty20 history. By the end India were a rabble, their performance summed up by England completing an all-run four, vanishingly rare in this format, after Mohammed Shami fielded and tried to toss the ball to a teammate but missed, and by Suryakumar Yadav racing back from mid-off and not only failing to catch Buttler but managing instead to shovel the ball a further 10 yards to the rope.

Poor Phil Salt, scheduled to come in at No 3 but not required. Having watched every game so far from the sidelines he was chosen to replace Dawid Malan, but still had to watch most of the game from the sidelines. It is impossible now to dispute England’s decision to favour Hales as opener, and since they reached a position of having to win every remaining match he has scored 52, 47 and now 86 at an average strike rate of 158. This was a remarkably controlled innings, in which he scored at great pace but appeared in no hurry, and his best shots were not only stylish in their execution but impeccable in their timing. India for example would have hoped to use their spinners to control England’s run rate but twice, against Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, Hales disabused them of that idea by sending a slog-sweep into the crowd.

Buttler meanwhile had promised to show no fear of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, against whom he previously had a notably poor record. He scored 13 runs off the seven balls he faced from the 32-year-old, cracking three fours off the bowler’s first over, and after his second ended with Hales dancing down the wicket to hit over long-off for six Kumar was sent to field on the boundary, never to return. Once the finish line hoved into view Buttler sprinted for it; after scoring 45 off his first 34 deliveries, he added 35 off his last 15, including the six that ended it.

The ground that witnessed England’s worst moment in white-ball cricket, against Bangladesh in 2015, thus witnessed what stands perhaps just the 2019 World Cup final away from their finest. This was a night when a side that had not really reached top gear at any stage in this tournament suddenly went supersonic.

Though Virat Kohli scored another half-century it was Hardik Pandya, with a 33-ball 63, who was most responsible for hauling India to what appeared a reasonable total with a string of boundaries towards the end of their innings – and there would have been one more had he not stepped into the stumps while powering the last ball towards the rope. But rather than striking terror into England, his innings inspired only hope – Buttler said afterwards that Pandya had just “showed what a good wicket it was”.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani players have a had a great 2021 specially in the shortest format of the game. Keeping this in view, there are numerous Pakistani cricketers who were offered contracts from multiple Big Bash League franchises. Pakistan dominated this year in T20I Cricket setting a new record of most wins in T20Is in a calendar year. Although the mainstream stars like Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are not expected to feature in BBL, there are still many other Pakistani stars who will play BBL 2021-22. Following are their details:

https://www.crickyupdates.com/pakistani-players-in-big-bash-league-2021-22-bbl/

Sydney Sixers have reportedly signed Shadab Khan from Pakistan. Although an official announcement is awaited but sources close to Shadab Khan have revealed that he is all set to play for the defending champions. Shadab has already departed for Australia. Shadab Khan is the vice-captain of Pakistan’s T20I Side. He has picked up 20 wickets in T20Is in 2021 averaging just 19 with the ball.

Melbourne Stars:
Melbourne Stars have signed the most no of Pakistani bowlers this year. Death bowling specialist Haris Rauf will be seen in action for Melbourne Stars. Rauf is the joint highest wicket taker for Pakistan in T20Is this year. Melbourne Stars have had a great relation with PSL Franchise Lahore Qalandars. They have some sort of partnership which benefit both the teams. Melbourne also signed two emerging stars from Pakistan. Syed Faridoun and Ahmed Daniyal. Both are the finds of Lahore Qalandars’ player development program. Ahmed Daniyal has featured in PSL as well while Syed Faridoun is completely raw.

Sydney Thunder:
Sydney Thunder offered a contract to express pacer from Pakistan Mohammad Hasnain. Hasnain is not in such great form or rhythm. He was axed form the Pakistan’s World T20 squad and his recent numbers are not satisfactory either. Yet Sydney have shown faith in the young pacer and Hasnain will be seen playing for Sydney Thunder.


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