It has taken a couple of years but finally we are there. Pakistan Super League will have 6 teams next year. Schon Group famous by the now nonexistent Schon Circle, are the latest owners of team Multan. There was much noise about a team from Kashmir. But thankfully sanity has prevailed. It’s early days but this is a step in the right direction for the Pakistan Super League.
The progress the brand of PSL has made in the last 2 years is significant. In the 2015 bidding process were very few parties were interested. Quetta literally had just one bidder and according to the chairman PSL, Najeem Sethi, the owner of Quetta Gladiators pushed up the buying price simply on his request. Such was the interest (or lack of it among companies).
Move forward, two years and just for one team there were 31 interested parties and 10 actual bidders. No wonder the price for the team is substantially higher. Karachi Kings were brought at $2.6m per year, whereas now Multan franchise has been bought at $5.2 million. This is below the floated $10 million per year rumor but still goes to show that there is a huge untapped market which needs to be looked at.
As for the Multan management, the struggle starts now. It will be interesting to see how the PSL management go about ensuring that the new team gets equal opportunities in signing players. Last year’s draft saw most team retaining the players they had signed in the 1st season. Adding a new team to the mix would disrupt team composition. It will create for excitement for the draft but team identity has taken shape to a degree. It could be an issue if the new team gets first pick and go for Darren Sammy. It will be odd to say the least. But this is how the modern T20 franchise system works. Who can Multan take on as their captain? There are quite a few players who did miss out because there were only 5 teams. Now is their chance. The local T20 tournament could be a launch-pad for their careers. Exciting times ahead.