x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Misbah-ul-Haq right to suggest Pakistan promote existing Twenty20 league

Rather than pursuing the postponed launch of Pakistan Super League, why not renovate the Super 8 T20 as the captain says?

England's Michael Lumb, right, is 33 years old and would like to cash in at the IPL given his talent in the shortest version of the game. Marty Melville / AFP
England's Michael Lumb, right, is 33 years old and would like to cash in at the IPL given his talent in the shortest version of the game. Marty Melville / AFP

One of the reasons Misbah-ul-Haq is such an enduring and refreshing figure is that he thinks and speaks normally and rationally. There is no larger-than-life public persona or endless between-the-lines messages that Pakistan captains traditionally love.

He is busy leading his domestic Twenty20 side, the Faisalabad Wolves, into the final of Pakistan's showpiece T20 event, an event that might not be happening now had it not been for the postponement of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

The Super 8 T20 has been easily the country's most successful domestic tournament. Pakistan's leading players participate in this case, immediately after returning from South Africa the best sides play and the crowds are generally fantastic.

Yet this year, it feels like an afterthought, rushed in because the PSL couldn't happen. It should be a jewel in their crown, as Misbah gently suggested.

"Hopefully, the PSL will be held soon, but why not start by inviting a few [foreign] players for our domestic T20 event?" His suggestions is an idea so sensible it is revelatory. His other recommendation, to make Pakistan's two T20 tournaments into one, longer, tougher league, played on a home-and-away basis, was equally logical.

The notion is to improve upon what Pakistan already has, rather than rush after a glitzier, more ambitious and unrealistic version. Which, with the vast majority of players still unwilling to travel to Pakistan, is not a bad way to go about reviving the domestic game.

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