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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.


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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Views: 180

Comment by Mehmood Malik on June 20, 2017 at 2:41am
First of all I'd like to congratulate all the lovers of Pakistan and Pakistan cricket, it was an awesome display of true grit, huge amounts of confidence and self belief from everyone in the squad, great leadership from the captain Sarfaraz and sheer brilliance from Fakhar, Azhar, Baber, Hafeez,Amir, junaid and Hassan Ali.
They shoved the words of our Indian friends down their throats who are still wondering what has hit them, as a long time supporter of team Pakistan you live for days like this, you want your batsmen to go out there and bat without fear which they did and you want your bowlers to bowl with aggression which the did.
Sometimes in a tournament the team that actually wins in the end does not begin so well, we had our bad start in the group game against India where we got thrashed but then something changed when we played against the number one ranked team in the world,south Africa, our bowlers began to look menacing and won us the game, against Sri Lanka our bowlers again put us in a great position but our top and middle order batsmen had a nightmare until Surfaraz and Amir got together and pushed us over the line. Sarfaraz survived a couple of chances of being caught out, for me that was the turning point because when you are destined to go all the way these sort of thing begin to go for you. Against England our bowlers again bowled very well and put us in a winning position and this time the batters did their job brilliantly and crossed the winning line without too much drama. Finally the batters and bowlers were looking dangerous and me and my friends felt that we had a very good chance of beating the old enemy in the final.
In the final every thing I wanted from my team they delivered, we put up a massive score on the board with some brilliant hitting and even the "professor' Hafeez was batting like a young Afridi, and then the bowling, what fantastic bowing from the Gujar Khan boy Amir, he ripped out the top three batsmen in a fairly short time and by the tenth over I was fairly confident we will be celebrating an awesome win. Anyway the Indian batting capitulated apart from their number seven who hit a few sixes but we got him out just at the right time and rest of them were on their way soon after.
There was much celebrations going on through out London, we went to Southall far iftari and there was a huge gathering of Pakistan supporters, younger guys and girls in their open top sports cars draped in Pakistani flags, Dil Dil Pakistan blaring out from a few focal points everyone dancing and singing even though it was Ramadan but we figured that today even Allah is a Pakistani supporter and we will forgiven for our indiscretions.
The party went on till late in the night ......PAKISTAN ZINDA BAAD
Comment by Riaz Haq on June 20, 2017 at 8:35pm

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

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.

Comment by Riaz Haq on June 20, 2017 at 10:28pm

Ode to Team Green
Michael Kugelman

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.

Comment by Mehmood Malik on June 21, 2017 at 4:36am
Pakistan being the only Muslim nuclear equipped country makes us strong and weak at the same time, our maney adversaries have tried to weaken us economically as well as politically. At the recently concluded meeting in Saudi Arabia in his speech Donold Trump mentioned a number of countries which he said had been the victims of terrorism and yet he failed to name Pakistan even though we have been the biggest victim having lost 70,000 of our citizens and security personnel through terrorism and this war on terror. Our prime minister was even prevented from making a speech detailing the sacrifices our country has made. I put this down to the very india-centric policies of the meeting of these so called friends of Pakistan. We should learn some very serious lessons from how we are being treated and what we need to do to rectify the situation in our favour.
One of the first things we should do is to create a properly functioning Foreign office with expert advisors helping to create substantial policies to help us move forward in this regard, we should not be relying on dear old Surtaj Aziz to combat the might of Indian foreign office and its influence.
The second thing is to make our people pay taxes, we cannot expect to be taken seriously if we need to go to world bank with a begging bowl in hand every two or three years. I read somewhere that only a small fraction of the population pay their taxes. An old fried of mine who is doing very well in Pakistan hardly pays any tax, when I asked him why he said he does not trust the people who are running the government.
These young guys in Pakistan cricket team have become world beaters in spite of the system rather then the system and unfortunately same thing applies to Pakistan, we are managing to survive in spite of our corrupt leaders.


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