Pace legend Wasim Akram has urged fans to fill up the stadium for the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019, which began at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium Stadium on Thursday with a glittering opening ceremony, followed by a high-voltage match between defending champions Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars.
Wasim, one of the greatest left-arm pacemen to have played cricket, is with Karachi Kings as president after guiding Islamabad United to the title in the first edition in 2016 before helping expansion franchise Multan Sultans last year.
The Sultan of Swing's contribution in the PSL is significant, according to a press release on the official PSL side. He is credited with helping Rumman Raees, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Sami and Shadab Khan shine at the HBL PSL when he was with Islamabad before benefiting Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Abbas while at Multan.
Now he has two exciting left-armers – Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari – at Karachi Kings who will definitely mature under his wings.
But apart from his coaching and mentoring, Wasim also realises his duty to promote the PSL which is the country's own brand and is getting better and better with every year.
He urges the fans in UAE — mostly Pakistani expats — to flock to the stadiums.
“This league is ours, yours and of every Pakistani,” Wasim said. “Pakistan have made this league for Pakistani fans. All six teams are Pakistani owners.
“Whether come to the Dubai stadium or Sharjah or Abu Dhabi or for the matches in Pakistan. Whether they are watching it on television, just enjoy. This is our brand and we have to make it successful,” said the legend.
Wasim praised the efforts behind the staging of the league.
“It takes an enormous effort to organise such a mega event, so from a small worker to the PCB chairman to those who are in the government to the PM Imran Khan, everyone deserves a big hand but at the end of the day fans have to make this league popular.
“I am sure people will come in large numbers in matches in Pakistan. Hopefully, a day will come soon when our league will be completely held in Pakistan.”