RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, March 10, 2020 (SNN247.com) – Former Pakistani cricketing superstars Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi have demanded the inclusion of new franchises in the blockbuster Twenty20 tournament Pakistan Super League.
Rawalpindi Express wants Pindi Team
Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, also known as Rawalpindi Express, made the call in his YouTube video that the passion for cricket in Rawalpindi should inspire the Pakistan Cricket Board to include a separate team from Rawalpindi.
He further highlighted the existing rivalry between the twin cities, saying that imagine Rawalpindi boys getting the better of Burger Boys (Islamabad United). It would be an interesting addition in the inter-city rivalries that have become a marketing factor for the Pakistan Super League.
Interestingly, there is already fierce rivalries between Karachi and Lahore, Lahore and Peshawar, and Islamabad and Quetta in the tournament, which have already caught the interest of the local cricket fans.
Afridi vote for FATA
Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Khan Afridi has also demanded to include a team from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The flamboyant all-rounder, who is currently associated with Multan Sultans, believes that the FATA region has produced the best fast bowling talent recently and their strong attitude would help produce hard-hitting batters.
During the opening ceremony of the Pakistan Super League 2020, PSL Project Executive Shoaib Naveed had made it clear that there was no proposal under consideration for increasing the number of teams in the tournament.
He had stated that any decision in this regard would be taken based on the feedback from the cricket fans and commercial aspect of the participating franchises during PSL 5.
The Pakistan Super League has emerged as the major cricket brand in the South Asian country, which has also found great traction in the neighboring countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Several players from the United Kingdom, Australia, and the West Indies are already playing the PSL 2020, which has generated a decent interest in these parts of the world.
It is important to mention here that the calls for the inclusion of a franchise from Azad Jammu and Kashmir have also made rounds in Pakistan during the last year or so.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, who helped Pakistan lift their only ICC Cricket World Cup title in 1992, is not fond of having a huge number of teams in the tournament. He believes that a limited number of teams would make the league more competitive and fans would get to see the top quality brand of cricket.
It would be interesting to see how Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board deals with this popular demand by the Pakistani cricket fans. It would be remarkable if the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League would have eight to nine participating franchises.