Pakistan Super League History
Pakistan cricket was trembling. Nothing was going in Pakistan’s favor. Pakistan had all the star players but the winning ratio was dropping down gradually.
Pakistan had the like of Misbah Ul Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, Muhammad Hafeez, Abdul Razzaq, Sharjeel Khan, Umar Gul. All the big stars, but there were times
Pakistan failed to chase 180 runs in one-day internationals. Pakistan, the team that reached the finals of the inaugural T20 world cup, and won the second T20 Worldcup was not in top 5 teams of the world.
There was no cricket being played in Pakistan. Hopes for a revival of international cricket were dead in Pakistan.
That was also one of the main reasons that no new young talent was emerging and coming up to play for Pakistan Cricket Team.
Pakistan needed something. The long favorite game of cricket was seeming to die in Pakistan. Most of the cricket gurus had predicted that the game of cricket will no longer be played in Pakistan after 3 years.
Then came the new chairman of PCB. Mr Najam Sethi. He was appointed by the federal Government. His appointment was also a controversial issue.
Opposition parties and especially the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf was against this decision.
Mr. Najam Sethi worked hard, undoubtedly. He made many changes in his tenure. People criticized him. But he stood firm.
Though we don’t approve all his decisions he made related to PSL were on the point. Since then Pakistan Cricket never looked back. Let’s start from the beginning.
PSL Schedule Dates
PSL was announced several times in the past, but it remained just an idea. But in September 2015 it was announced on a large scale by Mr. Najam Sethi.
This time hopes were up. Ramiz Raja, former Pakistan test cricketer, and current commentator, along with Wasim Akram, one of the most famous Pakistani cricket superstars, signed to be brand ambassadors for Pakistan Super League.
So, after several years of Planning and two failed attempts, PSL was begun in February 2016.
The emotions were inexpressible. Whole Pakistan was in front of the Televisions. It was one of those proudful moments for the Pakistani nation.
Pakistan Super League Matches
The first match was played between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators. Fun fact, the final was also played between these two teams, But the result was not same.
In final Islamabad United won the match. But the first match was won by Quetta Gladiators.
PSL season 1 Points Table
Muhammad Nawaz became the man of the match. Nawaz, the 21-year old, set the PSL opener up for Quetta with his four-wicket haul. He then produced a cameo with the bat.
The chase, however, was driven by Wright’s rousing half-century, the first of this tournament. Quetta eventually eased to an eight-wicket win, after the start was pushed to 9:30pm.
All teams played well in inaugural PSL, But Quetta Gladiators were great unexpectedly. They remained number one on the charts after group stages.
Lahore and Karachi the biggest franchises were off color. Lahore Qalandars was the first one to be disqualified followed by Karachi Kings.
Islamabad had weaker start, as they won only four in group stages. But they clicked at the right time. And won both of the matches at qualifying stages and made it to finals.
Peshawar Zalmi with Shahid Afridi and Darren Sammy was great and most followed team.
They were number two in group stages after Quetta Gladiators. But unfortunately, their luck ran out after group stages. And they lost both of their qualifying matches, In the result, they were knocked out as well.
PSL 1 Final
Now came the final, The Big day. Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United.
Gladiators with the vice-captain of Pakistan and Islamabad with the Captain of Pakistan at that time. Sarfraz’s team played well and Posted 174 on the scoreboard.
It seemed a big total and Quetta were fully equipped to save this score. But because of some brilliant performances of Brad Haddin and DR Smith.
Islamabad pulled it through. They were the champions.
PSL Season 1 Final Scorecard
Islamabad United/IU Scorecard
Quetta Gladiators/QG Scorcard
Best Player Awards
The Best player of the tournament was Ravi Bopara off the Karachi Kings. Bopara scored 329 runs and took 11 wickets in the tournament.
Andre Russell of Islamabad United took 16 wickets at an average of 17.25 to be the leading wicket-taker ahead of Wahab Riaz of Peshawar Zalmi with 15.
Umar Akmal of Lahore Qalandars was the leading run scorer with 335 runs at an average of 83.75 and also took the most catches in the tournament with 7.
Winners of the Spirit of Cricket award was Lahore Qalandars.
Most Runs in Season 1
Most Wickets in Season 1
Here is what Misbah had to say about that victory.
“The team gave a thoroughly professional performance. 174 is a big target in the final and Smith and Haddin didn’t panic, they gave special performances. As we had planned we wanted a boundary in each over and they did it, especially with the short boundaries. They executed the plans very well, even the bowlers before that. Sometimes you need luck in cricket and all these players have been playing very well in international cricket. Spinners, youngsters, whoever got a chance proved with his performance. Hats off to the PCB. I have played many leagues and this was almost like international cricket. I want to thank the Islamabad management for trusting me and giving me the captaincy.”
Then Misbah went over and collected the Pakistan Super League trophy, there were fireworks all over and he carries the trophy over towards the team in front of the ‘Champions’ board and the team was screaming its lungs out!
Quetta captain Sarfraz Ahmed had some positives to take from the game and said:
“We tried our best and we scored as much as we wanted to but it was their day. If we had taken a catch or two things might have turned our way. It felt good that we played a match like this. We have gained a lot of learnings and confidence from this league.”
Najam Sethi ended the first season with a very good speech, he said:
“Winning and losing is a part of game. It’s a win for Pakistan after their long wait. The world is watching what Pakistani people are made of and what they can do. I’d like to thank all the Pakistani people and god that we got the opportunity to turn this dream into a reality. I promise you that inshallah with the same hard work that helped us host this league, we’ll take it to Pakistan too.”
There it was the end of PSL Season One. Right after season one Pakistan Cricket had got so much stunning young talent.
After Misbah retired Sarfraz was given the captaincy of Pakistan Cricket team. As he took Quetta Gladiators to finals and performed great in PSL.
PSL season one gave Pakistan the young stars like Imad Wasim, Babur Azam, M Nawaz and Sharjeel Khan.
PSL Season 2
Now It was time for second season of PSL. Hopes were also all time high.
People started believing in Pakistan Super League. Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad United started the season this time.
PSL 2 Matches
The first match was a thriller. Islamabad pulled it through in the end with just 2 balls remaining.
Peshawar Zalmi had covered their weaker areas and performed great in this season. They were on top of the chart this time. Won 4 of the 8 matches. Followed by Quetta Gladiators.
PSL season 2 Points Table
Ironically all the teams except Lahore Qalanders won 4 out of 8 matches they played. Lahore was once again the first one to be disqualified, and this time they were followed by Islamabad United.
Karachi lost to Peshawar Zalmi in qualifiers and got disqualified. This time the final stage was set for Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators.
One of the bold steps of chairman PCB Mr Najam Sethi was to bring cricket back to Pakistan.
PSL 2 Final
He announced that the final of this year PSL will be played in Lahore. This was a bold step and had hurt Quetta Gladiators the most.
Their most key players denied to come and play in Pakistan. Quetta then hired some new players over night and came to Lahore with high hopes.
So, the match begun, on this batting friendly pitch, Peshawar batted first. They posted 148 on the board. And it seemed not enough.
As Quetta had been great with the chases. But this time this total proved to be a nightmare for the chasing side. Quetta only managed to score 90 runs.
It was a disappointing end to their chase for the trophy. Peshawar Zalmi had won the match as well as they became the first team to win the title in Pakistan.
Kamran Akmal was the best wicketkeeper batsman of the tournament. And Sohail Khan was the best bowler of the season.
Pakistan nation supported Darren Sammy as their own. Sammy had great support in Pakistan.
PSL Season 2 Final Scorecard
Peshawar Zalmi Scorecard
Quetta Gladiator Scorecard
Best Player Awards
The Best player of the tournament was Kamran Akmal of Peshawar Zalmi. Kami scored 353 runs winning the Hanif Mohammad award for top scorer and the Imtiaz Ahmed award for the best wicket-keeper.
Sohail Khan of Karachi Kings took 16 wickets at an average of 15.00 to be the leading wicket-taker ahead of Wahab Riaz of Peshawar Zalmi with 15. Winners of the Spirit of Cricket award was Quetta Gladiators.
Most Wicket Takers in Psl 2 Tournament scorecard
Most Run Makers in Psl 2 Tournament scorecard
As the Venkat Raghav ended this season with these remarks,
“The trophy has been handed to Sammy. He simply owned the Gaddafi Stadium today. Look at his million-dollar smile. The Peshawar players now get together and soak in the victory. What a day for Pakistan cricket! It was probably more than cricket. It was about changing perceptions. It was about Pakistan’s resilience. It was about Lahore’s resilience. It was about proving Lahore still is a city of joy. It was about the cricket-starved fans in the country. Well done, everybody. Hope you enjoyed this grand final as much as we did bring it to you.”
Pakistan Super League Seaon 3
Now it was 2018 and it was February. It was time for PSL season 3. PSL was now enjoying global success. After the successful final in Lahore Mr. Najam Sethi announced that qualifiers and final will be played in Pakistan this time.
Also, there was a new franchise added. Multan Sultans.
Pak Super League 3 Matches
This season the first match was played between the both champions, Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi.
The first match was won by Islamabad United comfortably. They had a great season this.
PSL season 3 Points Table
Luke Ronchi Shadab Khan were the best players in this season for Islamabad side. Islamabad won seven for their first 10 games and they were looking strongest side. Multan Sultans also started great.
They won their first 3 games. And it seemed like Islamabad and Multan will play finals. But after 3 games, out of the next seven Multan managed to win just one.
Lahore Qalanders were constant as they were the first one to be disqualified in first season, they were first one to be disqualified in 2nd season, this time nothing changed for Lahore Qalanders.
Yet again they were disqualified first. This time they were followed by Multan Sultans. Karachi was 2nd best team on charts after the group stage. Peshawar Zalmi clicked at the right stage.
They won their last four games to reach finals. And final was this time in Karachi.
Pakistan Super League 3 Final
Final was in Karachi, and it was between Peshawar Zalmi and Islamabad, ironically, they played the season inaugural as well. Peshawar Posted yet again 148 as the target.
Which was not enough as Islamabad won the match quite comfortably. They chased the target in 16.3 overs. The best player of the tournament was Luke Ronchi.
He played superbly well. Never disappointed Islamabad United. Kamran Akmal was also mentionable in this season. He performed great as well.
PSL Season 3 Final Scorecard
Best Player Awards
Most Wicket takers in season 3 of PSL
Most Run Maker Batsman in season 3 of PSL
Future Of Pakistani Cricket
Now if we see the Pakistani Cricket team you will see out of playing eleven only 2 are old timers. 9 out of eleven players are in the team due to their performances in PSL.
Which itself is a great proof of PSL success.
Pakistan team is Number one in t20 ranking for about a year. They have record winning streak of winning 11 series in a row. Pakistan struggled in ODI’s. But they won ICC champions trophy.
So, now it is well established that Pakistan team is on the right path to success. And PSL has played a vital role in this.
Due to change in Government Mr. Najam Sethi has resigned from his position. Now the new chairman is Mr. Ehsan Mani.
We sincerely hope that he works better than Mr. Najam Sethi and take Pakistan Super League and Pakistan Cricket to new heights.
In 2019, it is speculated that there will be a new team addition in PSL. And that 8 matches will be played in Pakistan.
Let’s hope all of this is true and Cricket Come home after all these years in the tenure of Mr. Ehsan Mani.