Islamabad - Pakistan's Test captain
Misbah-ul-Haq has hailed the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) as
a success for the country that will help the team reverse its slide in the
game's shortest format.
The 41-year-old veteran struck the winning
runs for Islamabad United late on Tuesday, beating Quetta Gladiators by six
wickets to conclude the three-week tournament in front of a capacity crowd in
Stellar batting by Dwayne Smith of the West
Indies and ex-Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin helped Islamabad romp to
victory, but it was the stand-out performances of local players that were the
tournament's biggest plus for Misbah.
"I am sure the Pakistan Super League
will help Pakistan players in the same manner as IPL did to Indians and BPL has
done to Bangladesh players," he told AFP. "Look at Bangladesh, they
are rising high because of the BPL so we will also reap benefits of the PSL in
the near future."
Umar Akmal, Pakistan's perennial batting
under-achiever, led the way with the most runs (335 in seven matches), while
previously unheralded 21-year-old left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz and left-arm
pacer Rumman Raees also leave the tournament as household names.
Thirty-five-year-old Mohammad Sami
meanwhile earned a national recall on the strength of his performances
throughout the tournament, including figures of five wickets for eight runs in
Islamabad's play-off against Karachi.
Pakistan's players had been largely missing
out on Twenty20 exposure against international stars because they are banned
from participating in the Indian Premier League, the format's premier
The national Twenty20 team has slid in the
intervening period, from world champions in 2009 to a lowly sixth place now.
Beyond the on-field performances the
tournament was seen as a feel-good success for the country, despite being held
in the UAE.
Fans gathered to watch the final on big
screens placed in market places throughout major cities in a charged atmosphere
previously only seen for Pakistan's international matches.
Viewership figures were as high as 55
percent for some matches, according to a management source close to one of the
teams - or roughly 100 million people.
Foreign stars including England's Kevin
Pietersen and Australian Shane Watson tweeted about their affection for the
league while Najam Sethi, the tournament's CEO, called it a "success for
Some insiders had warned Pakistan's first
franchise-based league may not be enough to overcome revenue and time lost
during the country's long exile from hosting international cricket.
The PSL's five teams were sold for $93
million for a period of a decade, while TV rights and title sponsorship fetched
around $20 million for three years.
Sethi said the PCB would not face any
losses this year, and was equally bullish about prospects for the franchises - claiming that one owner told him that the sale value had increased from $25
million to $59 million.