Pakistan Super League 2019: What does the fourth edition mean for Pakistan cricket?
The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League is round the corner and the excitement levels are up and high for the fans. Those little fan-wars of the cities have already started and cricket stars from around the globe are ready to make their mark in the tournament.
Pakistan had a rather bad outing in South Africa, losing all 3 series. But the attention has been converted to move forward from the defeat, taking positives from the tour. In this World Cup year, Pakistan needs to carry a good combination to England.
Let's take a look at what PSL has to offer in this regard.
World Cup adjustments
Pakistan's ODI team, in contrast to their T20 dominance in the last 11 series, is in tatters. Some problems exist at the top of the order and there is a dire need of a good finisher. With Fakhar Zaman badly out of form, Pakistan will be looking for an extra option.
In this regard, Shan Masood, who has worked on his technique beautifully and showed good intent in tests, is rendered a good option. He wasn't given a chance in the recent ODI series, so he needs to make a case for himself through PSL. Though it can't be a perfect way to get someone in the World Cup squad ODI, series against Australia and England can be a good testing point for these players.
PSL acted as a gateway for talented players like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan. Fakhar Zaman also came to prominence after playing in the 2nd version of the tournament.
So, one can always expect this league to assist the national team with talented players who could represent Pakistan at the international level. There is some exciting young talent in the form of Muhammad Musa and Hartis Rauf to look forward to.
Redemption for players
PSL is a key for some players like Ahmed Shahzad, Umar Akmal and Wahab Raiz to earn a spot in the national team. These players have their eyes fixed on the World Cup squad.
All they have to do is give their best and show enough discipline to impress the selectors. Players like Sohaib Maqsood, Rumman Raees and Muhammad Nawaz also have a solid chance to elongate their career in the green jersey.
The revival of cricket
The horrific incident of terrorist attack on Sri Lankan players really became a barrier for international cricket in Pakistan. A few tours have been organised but most teams refuse to visit Pakistan for a tour.
The hopes for the return of international cricket shone when AB de Villiers declared that he will come to Pakistan for lateral matches of the league. According to PCB, 40 foreign players will travel to Pakistan this year. So, this may well be the opening of doors of international cricket for this cricket-loving nation.
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