Pakistan Super League has not only involved foreign cricketers, but it has also featured foreign broadcasters and commentators. Majority of these commentators have covered other leagues of the world, but they have all praise for the flavour and standard of cricket they have seen in this league.
In the inaugural edition of the league in 2016, Ramiz Raja, Bazid Khan, Alan Wilkins, Pat Symcox and Tom Moody commentated during the tournament.
Ian Bishop, Danny Morrison and Mel Jones were the new addition in the line-up, which added more colours to the commentary of the tournament.
Damien Fleming, Daren Ganga and Michael Slater were the new entrants during PSL 2018. Moreover, Zainab Abbas has remained an integral part of the tournament as a presenter.
Here is what pundits have to say about the glittering league.
The former West Indian fast bowler, Ian Bishop joined the team of the PSL in 2017 and calls it ‘a great pleasure to work on the HBL PSL 2017’.
According to Bishop, the thing that stands out about the PSL is the exposure of local talent to the world.
“I have to say how enjoyable the experience was. It was very well organised. The thing about HBL PSL for me during that experience was that it allowed me and the wider public around the world to see the talent that Pakistan holds and has below the international players,” he said.
“We got to see the elevation of guys like Shadab Khan, Hassan Khan, who went on to captain the Pakistan U19 team the following year. We got to see Fakhar Zaman display his skills to a wider public,” he added.
The former West Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, Darren Ganga has featured in only one season of the league so far, PSL 3. However, he was blown away with the unique flavour of cricket the league has.
“My first interaction with the HBL PSL was in 2018. I was immediately greeted with a unique flair and exciting flavour, which to me, was authentic Pakistan. The cricket, the music, the passion of the crowds both in UAE and Pakistan, all reflected the excitement of the people,” he said.
“PSL brought new talent to the fore and produced high-quality cricket. Long live HBL PSL, long live Pakistan,” he added.
The quality of cricket in the Pakistan Super League exceeded the expectations of former Australian pacer, Damien Fleming. He was extremely impressed with the standard of fielding during the tournament, which is often considered as Pakistan’s weak area.
“The biggest revelation was the fielding standard, which was comfortably above Australia’s own Big Bash League,” he said.
Moreover, he was pleased to see Pakistan living up to the expectations of producing exceptional cricketers and it was nothing different during the PSL.
“Also, Pakistan’s reputation as talent factory was on display again with young spinner Shadab Khan and promising quick Shaheen Shah Afridi bursting into prominence,” he stated. “I can easily see why the HBL PSL is such a big success back home in Pakistan and equally well spectated in the finals due to the quality of top-notch cricketers and T20 cricket played.”
Former Australian women cricketer, Mel Jones has become a big fan of the league herself since she joined the commentating team in 2017.
“Talented, entertaining, competitive and fun,” she says while describing PSL.
The energetic commentator and the former fast bowler of New Zealand, Danny Morrison believes Pakistan Super League is one of the best T20 leagues of the world and he is excited for the fourth edition of the tournament.
“I have to say the HBL PSL is fast growing into one of the most exciting and powerful T20 franchise tournaments in the world,” he said. “I have come to a few of them now and I got to say, I really enjoyed. I was honoured to go back to Lahore to do a T20I between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “I am looking forward to 2019 edition without a doubt. I cannot wait to be part of it and look forward to it to go nuts and go boom.”
Alan Wilkins has been excited to see the kind of talent surfaced during the PSL. Moreover, he also visited Pakistan for the first time and he got to know about cricket in Pakistan.
“The excitement was the number of young players coming out of Pakistan who mixed their skills with the overseas contingent,” said Alan Wilkins. “Let’s take a prime example of Shaheen Shah Afridi. At the start of 2018, he was an Under-19 cricketer for Pakistan. He went into the HBL PSL and took five wickets for four runs for the Qalandars. That can happen to a lot of young players because HBL PSL puts players in the window to the world.”
The success of PSL took Bazid Khan by surprise, he was expecting it to be good, but it surpassed the expectations very quickly. The quality of fielding is PSL is something that impressed him big time.
“The one thing that really stands out for me in terms of quality is the fielding. The standard of fielding has gone through the roof. It is one of the top leagues in the world and there is no doubt about that,” he said.
Zainab Abbas says that Pakistan Super League has been a unique experience for her. She believes PSL has been the best thing happened to Pakistan cricket.
“Each year the tournament grew and with it my own skills of presenting. Being an avid cricket follower from a young age, I can safely say it is the best thing that has happened to Pakistan’s cricket,” she said.
Abbas hopes that PSL will pave way for international cricket to return to Pakistan.
“I hope that this tournament only grows and helps in bringing more cricket to Pakistan,” she said.