Ian Pont : “I can’t wait for the PSL to get started”

Freshly apppointed bowling coach for Quetta Gladiators, Ian Pont writes about how he is looking forward to his new assignment.

It’s an exciting time for all the players, fans and staff in the Pakistan Super League and with the draft about to happen we will find out exactly how the franchised teams will line up.

It’s a challenge planning squads in a draft system as opposed to an auction. The main difference is that not one team can grab all the best picks because they have the most money. That means the teams should be far more evenly matched than for normal T20 events where big spending bosses can grab all the talent. Each team has a turn to pick and it’s not necessarily the best name available. Also, there is a tumble down where players who are unsold at one level drop into a cheaper level… So we literally don’t know who is going to be available and when!

For us as coaches, it is a challenging time. We have a list of likely people we’d love to have but then again so might the other franchises! I think that coaching staff actually will earn their stripes more in this competition than any other. It might come down to how squads are motivated and blended together that defines the success of the competition.

I am extremely happy to be hooking up again with Julien Fountain, with whom I have enjoyed the Bangladesh Premier League title success in its first year and also as a fellow national coach in Bangladesh. Julien and I go back many years, but I am especially excited to be working alongside Moin Khan. He has tremendous knowledge of the local players and of course is a winner in his own right as a player.

What will count during the PSL is team spirit and a solidarity of attitude for the cause. I feel extremely fortunate to have Nadeem Omar as our owner at Quetta. He is an exceptional gentleman and optimises everything the PSL is trying to achieve. We will all do our very best to repay the faith he has shown in putting us all together as his coaching crew.

I can’t wait for February 4th. The excitement and speculation grows every day. It is an absolute honour and privilege to be a part of it all.

Whatever happens I wish well for Pakistan Cricket and the fans who deserve an amazing tournament that will showcase the tremendous talent that Pakistan has. From the bottom of my heart I look forward to this world class event and I know the players do too.

I can’t wait for the PSL to get started, best luck to everyone involved – and let’s all hope cricket is the winner.

(Ian Pont is a former English cricketer who has played for county sides like Nottinghamshire and Essex. He is a renowned bowling coach and a cricket columnist. The above article first appeared in PakPassion)