PSL continue to strike chord with expat fans
ISLAMABAD: As the thrilling and exciting Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches are underway and the tournament reaches to its final stages, the interest and enthusiasm of expat fans have also reached to their peak.
Full houses were witnessed on Weekends (Fridays) particularly in Sharjah where thousands of overseas fans flocked into the stadium to watch PSL encounters.
“I am very happy that we now have PSL, so everyone will see Pakistan players against the best in the world,” said Ramiz, who is originally from Islamabad but has been living and working in the UAE for the past five years.
“Hopefully the PSL can one day be as big as the Indian Premiere League (IPL), it will be good for Pakistan. But I hope one day it is played in Pakistan,” he added as reported by renowned cricket website ESPNcricinfo.
He is not alone in that sentiment. Chairman of the PSL Najam Sethi has expressed the similar while terming the PSL as “a gateway to Pakistan”.
Before the tournament began, he told ESPNcricinfo: “If we are successful in holding a league here full of excitement, and if our security situation continues to improve as it is improving by the day, i see no reason why we can’t persuade foreign players to play one match in Karachi and one match in Lahore next year. Then maybe in the third year, we could bring the whole league back to Pakistan. That is the short-term objective.”
PSL bodes well for Pakistan’s cricketing future, with a whole new generation of players set to be exposed to high-intensity cricket from a comparatively young age.
“This [the PSL] is something for my country to be proud of. India has not allowed Pakistan players in the IPL but now it will not matter, we have our own league,” said Mohsin another expiate Pakistani who originally belongs to Karachi but doing business in Dubai.
Meanwhile, there is also a sizeable community of expats from a host of cricketing nations that the PSL should appeal to, as witnessed by the crowds during the early action. “We are here to see Shakib Al Hasan,” said a man in a Bangladesh ODI shirt.
Two others watching that day – who, even from quite a considerable distance, were unmistakably English – named as Ed and Dan, and were eager to watch Chris Gayle and Ravi Bopara in action.
In truth, while there have been some notable feats from overseas players – Luke Wright in particular – the PSL’s real success lies in the performances of young Pakistani players including Mohammad Asghar, Rumman Raees and Mohammad Nawaz in particular; the latter two earning themselves spots in Pakistan’s World T20 squad.