KARACHI: As the uncertainty looms over the resumption of the halted fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the franchise teams who reached the semi finals — are found on the same wavelength regarding the formula to declare the winners.
The fifth edition of the PSL was suspended just hours before the first semi final due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier the tournament was curtailed by scraping the traditional playoffs to introduce semi finals, followed by the final on March 18. The initial date for the final encounter was March 22.
According to the PSL’s playing conditions, published in the press earlier, it is understood that the team placed at the top of the league standings can be declared the winner if the tournament doesn’t find a window to hold its knockout matches.
However, the four semi finalists are in agreement with each other that matches should be held to decide the winner.
Multan Sultans are sitting at the top of the table, after the league stage, with 14 points followed by Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi.
The co-owner of Multan Sultans, Ali Tareen — who could have insisted on the title to be awarded to his team for being the top side — says he will be most haply if the winner is decided after a fair on-field contest.
“Regardless of who finished at the top of the table, there were four teams in the knockout stages. Any one of them could have won it”, Ali said. “It would be completely unfair for the other teams if we [Multan Sultans] are given the trophy.”
Karachi Kings owner Salman Iqbal echoed the same views.
Salman remarked that the PCB could find a window for the remaining PSL matches later this year.
“I think they [PCB] have a window after the ICC T20 World Cup — which is scheduled to be played from Oct 18 to Nov 15 in Australia — therefore the remaining PSL5 should then be held and see who win. Simple!” Salman asserted
Lahore Qalandars too are understandably eager to have a go at the trophy after qualifying for the knockout stage of the PSL for the first time, following bottom-place finishes in the previous four editions.
Chief operating officer of Lahore Qalandars, Sameen Rana, also believes there should be a competition to decide the eventual champions.
“It’s not about winning the cup only it’s about having competition and let the best team win. The purpose of the game is to provide fun and excitement to fans and viewers. If we take that out and start deciding things on ranking [in the final league standings] then we are going to deprive people from the excitement,” Sameen commented. “While we all wanted to win, we should not be egoistic about it and should not be worried about losing.”
Fourth-placed Peshawar Zalmi are also keen for on-field contests to determine the champions. Their chairman Javed Afridi said that there was a window available after the T20 World Cup which could be utilised.
“More than two months are available after the T20 World Cup in which there is no international commitment for Pakistan. But of course we can’t control the uncontrollable but the remaining PSL5 matches should be held during that period to determine the undisputed winners,” Javed said. “The PSL is for the fans who want to see the on-ground computation. We must not jeopardise the league.”
Meanwhile, in a social media post, Karachi Kings head coach Dean Jones said that the regulations also state that the PCB and or PSL Technical Committee, can override anything it chooses to do so.
Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2020