ISLAMABAD - International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas termed Pakistan Super League (PSL) a mega success and congratulated PCB, Najam Sethi and others, who were involved in conducting the league.

Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas , known as Asian Bradman, said this during an exclusive interview with The Nation, and added Pakistani youngsters would reap countless benefits from the PSL in the years to come. “The PSL has provided a wonderful platform to Pakistani players, who might have learnt a lot while sharing dressing rooms and benches with world’s best cricketers during the league.” Zaheer said it could have not been possible for majority of Pakistani players to get such an exposure and chance to play alongside one of the best in the business. “Others leagues of the world took some time before getting popularity amongst the masses, but PSL gained popularity right from the start.”

Lauding the massive participation of crowd in making the PSL a huge success, the ICC president said: “The way, the crowds thronged the stadiums, was a very proud moment for each and every Pakistani.”

Terming Pakistan cricket future bright with the launch of PSL, Zaheer said: “The PCB will defiantly raise the participating teams to at least 8 next time around, as it will help in making the league more competitive and enthralling and also provide young and biding cricketers more chances to groom and excel by playing alongside top national and international players.

“I strongly recommend the PCB should include two or maximum three more teams in the league, but not more than that, otherwise, the quality will suffer and masses will not be able to watch action-packed matches,” he added.

About quality of the PSL, he said: “All the teams played quality cricket and it was hard to predict who would be the eventual winner of the first edition and that was the most interesting part of the PSL, otherwise, in top leagues, it is easy to guess the top and star-studied sides easily. I was very much present in UAE and witnessed PSL matches and also interacted with different foreign players, who were full of praise for the PSL and looked highly satisfied with the outcome of the first edition.”

Zaheer said the PSL was platform provided to the generation next. “I am quite sure that next year, more and more youngsters will be involved in PSL and same will be the case with the local coaches. Pakistan cricket is back on right track.”

“The PSL could have launched a bit earlier, but it’s never too late situation. Off course, there is always a room for improvement, so the PCB and PSL chairman Najam Sethi will surely overcome minor drawbacks witnessed during the first edition of the league,” he added.

The ICC president said: “My sincere wishes like every Pakistani is with Pakistan cricket and I hope and pray, the PSL will open floodgates of international cricket’s full-fledge return to Pakistan and next year or after that, we will be able to watch international stars playing the PSL in front of Pakistani fans that will be surely memorable occasion. I feel with the scarifies of our armed forces, the overall security situation of the country has improved a lot and things will be quite clear by the time the second edition of the PSL starts.” “In the next edition, we will be able to watch super stars from England, South Africa, Australia, West Indies and New Zealand coming in quite a few numbers. The way the PSL managed to make its way into common masses was itself a clear indication that it is bound to get more and more overwhelming response with each edition,” Zaheer concluded.