Home > Features >

IPL 2014′s UAE leg could decide PCB’s PSL plans

The absence of Pakistani players in the IPL can affect it's viewership in the Pakistani expatriate community dominated UAE © Getty Images
The absence of Pakistani players in the IPL can affect its viewership in the Pakistani expatriate community-dominated UAE © Getty Images

The first leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 will be held in the United Arab Emirates and its success could have implications on the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) plans to host the Pakistan Super league (PSL) early next year. Nishad Pai Vaidya explains…

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is ready to welcome the Indian Premier League (IPL) bandwagon with the tournament’s 2014 edition set to begin on April 16 at Abu Dhabi. While UAE has been an Associate nation of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for years, but is a familiar venue for fans. Sharjah was a cricketing oasis, and then emerged Abu Dhabi and Dubai. With the huge expatriate population, the potential is enormous. But this IPL may unknowingly open the floodgates for another league in the desert of Emirates.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently announced that they are aiming to host the first edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the UAE early next year, with an endeavour to host the finals in Lahore. The way the IPL pans out could very well determine the fate of the PSL as the franchise concept would be tested in a foreign land. So far, only national teams have played in the UAE. Of course, that would bring the expatriate fans in numbers to the ground as they support their respective teams. This time it would be different.

During an IPL game, the fans’ loyalties get divided. One may root for a team from their city or state, but may have a soft corner for their favourite India player in another side. That brings in an interesting flavor and the Indian community in the UAE may have a tough time to decide their favourites. But with the presence of international stars, one may see other nationalities also making their way into the stadiums. There is a significant Australian population in the UAE. That is one fan base the franchises would target.

But what about the Pakistani fan, who is used to watching his stars in those arenas? Whenever Pakistan has played a match in the UAE, one has seen a decent turnout for the one-day games. When compared to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have a bigger Pakistani fan base and they would be disappointed with their heroes missing out on the action. Some of them may still come to watch the games, for the pure love of cricket or for entertainment. But the IPL could perhaps lose a bit of their fan support due to the absence of Pakistan players.

However, this could work for the PSL as that humongous Pakistani fan-base would be eager for their nation’s Twenty20 league. The IPL’s success in terms of creating the buzz may set off an interest and anticipation for the PSL. Plus, if the IPL is a logistical success, the PCB could well use it to their advantage and work with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to perhaps create a much more successful tournament to fit the needs of the resident fans.

Needless to say, the PCB would watch the first leg of the IPL very closely and monitor each move. They have a lot to learn from the success and failures of the IPL in the UAE as that would help them chalk out their own plans. The PSL too would feature international stars, but how many? That is a bigger question, which could help the PCB turn the tide!

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 54 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: CSK sends clear signal to other sides by ravaging Dolphins

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Highlights

Mitchell Marsh: I thought that the match was tied against Dolphins

Live Cricket Score Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins CLT20 2014 Match 8: CSK romp home by 54 runs

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Lahore Lions

Jason Gillespie: Australia, New Zealand or South Africa favorites to win the ICC World Cup 2015

Makhaya Ntini looks forward to match at Mount Kilimanjaro summit

Mitchell Marsh: I thought that the match was tied against Dolphins

Usain Bolt picks Shane Warne over Sachin Tendulkar

Anandji Dossa passes away

Sorabji Colah: An outstanding slip fielder who never fulfilled his batting promises

Anandji Dossa — a life to cherish

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: CSK sends clear signal to other sides by ravaging Dolphins

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Highlights

List of highest innings’ totals in CLT20 and overall T20 cricket

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

670 Posts | 6 Fans

CLT20 2014: Kings Xi Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, final over

Kajol at the United Nations headquarters-View pic!

Why green gram or moong dal is good for health

Savvy Superfoods Straight from your Mom’s Kitchen

Asian Games 2014 Live Updates: Abhinav Bindra qualifies for the 10m Air Rifle finals

Hrithik Roshan: I am not reprising Tom Cruise in Bang Bang!

Microsoft’s Xbox One launched in India, prices start from Rs 39,990

Apple iPhone 5S now available for less that Rs 35,000 on Indian e-commerce sites

Is having leaky breasts during pregnancy normal?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here