The business end of HBL Pakistan Super League is still weeks away but people attached to it are already focused on it.
The reason: All franchises and their fans are keen that most of the teams’ foreign stars are available for the final three matches of the T20 league which are scheduled to be played in Pakistan.
The final of the last year’s edition was also played on Pakistani soil but unfortunately all the foreign stars of Quetta Gladiators including England superstar Kevin Pietersen stayed away from it. In stark contrast, most of the foreign recruits of Peshawar Zalmi flew to Lahore and played the final at the Gaddafi Stadium. Unsurprisingly, they won the lop-sided title match quite comfortably.
All stakeholders are hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2017 scenario. In this year’s PSL, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has planned to have two eliminator games in Lahore and the final at the National Stadium in Karachi on March 25.When Karachi was announced as the venue for the final there were murmurs among the PSL’s foreign stars but in recent days there have been positive vibes from many of them.
On Wednesday, Multan Sultans – the latest addition to the PSL – confirmed that legendary Sri Lankan player Kumar Sangakkara was ready to travel to Pakistan with his team during the final week of PSL 3.
Multan Sultans President Asher Schon told reporters that apart from Sangakkara, several other players are also willing to play in Pakistan.“Kumar Sangakkara has agreed (to come to Pakistan) and he’s very excited about it as he has a lot of history in Pakistan,” Schon said.
Earlier, Peshawar Zalmi’ English signing Liam Dawson also announced that he was prepared to play in Pakistan.“If we (Peshawar Zalmi) get to eliminators then I will be prepared to go (Pakistan),” he was quoted as saying in an interview.
It is understood that many foreign players have also indicated to their franchise owners that they were willing to travel to Pakistan. They include JP Duminy, Darren Sammy, Shane Watson, Andre Fletcher, Carlos Brathwaite, Imran Tahir, Luke Ronchi, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Darren Bravo, Sam Billings, Tamim Iqbal and David Wiese.