Standard of cricket in PSL is better than IPL, claims Abdul Razzaq
What's the story?
Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has opined that the standard of cricket in Pakistan Super League (PSL) is better than the quality of game seen in Indian Premier League (IPL). Expressing disappointment at being shunned by various PSL franchises, the 38-year old also hoped to participate in the next edition of the Twenty20 tournament.
"PSL is of good standard and probably better than IPL. But when you have played International cricket against top players, then PSL is a little easy for us to play. I had some hopes of playing in the PSL but unfortunately I did not get a good response to that. If I am able to perform and prove my fitness, then I am hopeful of participating in the next PSL as a player", Razzaq was quoted as saying to a Pakistani news channel.
In a career spanning from 1996 to 2013, Razzaq represented Pakistan in 343 international matches across all three formats combined. Aside from scoring 7419 runs (with six centuries) from those matches, the seam bowling all-rounder also picked 389 wickets including four five-wicket hauls.
The heart of the matter
The inaugural PSL season took place during February 2016 in Dubai International Cricket Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Only five teams participated in the maiden edition of the tournament. With a weakened contingent of overseas players, the title clash of the 2017 season was played at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The 2018 edition will see the addition of a new franchise in the form of Multan Sultans. While the eliminator and second qualifier will be held in Lahore, the final is touted to take place at National Stadium in Karachi.
Launched in September, the IPL is one of the preeminent leagues in the Twenty20 circuit. The first season of the tournament was held in 2008 in venues encompassing the length and breadth of the country. Since then, the league has only grown from strength to strength and emerged as a major source of revenue for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). With an unofficial window set aside for the vast majority of each season, the tournament has become extremely popular with cricket aficionados in India and abroad.
The 2018 PSL season is set to begin on February 22 when defending champions Peshawar Zalmi and new entrants Multan Sultans square off against each other in Dubai. The final is slated to take place on March 25.
The auction for the eleventh IPL edition will be held on January 27 and 28 in Bengaluru. Notably, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will return to the fray in the 2018 season. With each franchise allowed to retain only five players, the mega auction is shaping up to be a fascinating affair.
While Razzaq is entitled to his own opinion, it does not make much sense to compare a well established league like IPL with an evolving tournament such as PSL. Considering that the target audience for the leagues are cricket fans in India and Pakistan respectively, both tournaments have carved their own niche among the various Twenty20 competitions.