DUBAI: The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has gotten off to a cracking start with matches keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. However, actual seats have been hard to fill at the Dubai International Stadium.
While the level of competition has been praised, the lack of attendance has been a point of criticism. Former Pakistan cricket legend Wasim Akram who is the director for new franchise Multan Sultans is hopeful that this trend will change when the entire tournament is played in Pakistan.
“It will be a dream come true for the owners, PCB and myself. And of course it will be a dream come true for every cricket loving Pakistani,” Akram told Geo.tv. The Swing ka Sultan added that playing in Pakistan would add pressure on teams as stadiums would be packed.
Akram remained optimistic about seeing larger crowds when the tournament moves to Sharjah. “There is a logistical problem at the Dubai Stadium. If you don’t have a car you can’t come. There is no public transport. This problem won’t be there in Sharjah.”
When asked about the level of competition, Akram responded that it was fierce and the teams were all quite close. “Every team wants to win. Even I as a circlet director, my coach and my captain Shoaib Malik, we sit down, plan and hold meetings. This is not a holiday there is some serious cricket happening here.”
Wasim Akram also praised the Pakistan Cricket Board and PSL management for a professionally organised tournament. “Players from the world are here and they get looked after really well. Ideally, the world will know what PSL is when it is held in Pakistan. But even in Dubai and Sharjah, it’s top notch.”
According to Akram, it was too early to predict which teams would make it to the knockout stages and it would come down to the last few matches. “This is very interesting for the people watching it back home. Not so exciting for the coaches as your heart rate keeps increasing when the team isn’t playing well.”