AB de Villiers played the 2019 edition of PSL.
The 2021 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was suspended midway in March owing to the COVID-19 crisis. However, the remaining part of the T20 tournament is set to resume on June 9 in Abu Dhabi. The UAE leg of the competition will also feature Faf du Plessis, Andre Russell, Rashid Khan and several other T20 stars who were not part of the tournament in March.
These players had opted to participate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and were not part of PSL’s initial plans. However, the Indian tournament was also called off midway due to the COVID-19 crisis and many players took the flight to UAE for the remainder of PSL. Speaking of the IPL vs PSL debate, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) CEO Wasim Khan said that their nation’s league would take some time to match the standards of IPL.
“Our target is to develop the ecosystem and the economy of PSL so that we can spend extra on players. We will only be able to do that once we see franchises making profits. Only then can we encourage them to start spending more money on the players themselves,” Khan said in an interaction with Cricket Pakistan.
It isn’t a long process: Wasim Khan
Wasim further highlighted the importance of roping in a player like AB de Villiers to enhance PSL’s standards. “It isn’t a long process, and we are developing it every year. But the calibre of players is crucial too, and it is important we attract players like AB de Villiers who play in the IPL to the PSL,” he asserted.
Starting in 2008, IPL is arguably the most celebrated T20 league in the world. Cricketers from different parts dream of plying their trade in the tournament. As a result, the stature of IPL has grown with each season. On the other hand, PSL, which went underway in 2016, also features several T20 stars. However, majority of players having contracts in both tournaments have preferred IPL.
Speaking of AB de Villiers, the former Proteas captain featured in PSL 2021, representing Lahore Qalandars. However, the dasher opted out of the following two seasons but continued to serve Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.