Dubai - Former Test batsman and cricket commentator Bazid Khan termed Pakistan Super League (PSL) as a stepping stone for young cricketers which fast forwards their journey to the national squad.

Talking to media here, Bazid, who represented Pakistan in one Test and five ODIs between 2004 and 2008, said the third edition of the PSL shows that the league has also improved standards of fielding. “Level of competition in the PSL has increased and the thing that stood out during the third edition of PSL is fielding, 90% catches were taken which is better than all other leagues of the world. This shows that we have improved our standards of fielding which is also directly linked with fitness,” he said.

“If you want to play limited over cricket then you’ve to be best in the fielding and PSL has helped us improved fielding standards, I haven’t seen this level of fielding in any other tournament in Pakistan so this is a very good sign for Pakistan that our fielding level is matching the international standards,” the 36 year old former batsman added.

Talking about the performance of Lahore Qalandars, Bazid, who is now a permanent feature in PSL’s commentary team, said the theory of Brendon McCullum isn’t working for Qalandars and it is the high time for the management to change the leadership of the team. “Lahore Qalandars has only one problem. They trust Baz, we agree but his theory didn’t work and when your theory doesn’t work then the management steps in to change things.

“Qalandars has lost every match in a similar manner and repeated the mistakes. You can’t recover in T20 after a collapse, even in last matches, LQ looked nervous while chasing. Brendon’s style of cricket is very demanding and players who are at developing stage can’t carry that out. They need the change in team management, team coaching, and team captain, because if they don’t make the change then I don’t think there will be any change in their results in future,” he noted,” he added.

Separately, he mentioned how the league brought players like Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, and Fahar Zaman to limelight in past and hoped that it will continue to do so in this season and also in future. “It is also stepping stone for players, it fast forwards the journey of players to the national squad. You have seen how impactful just one spell of Shaheen Shah Afridi was, leg-spinner Ibtisam Sheikh has also been impressive. We have seen in previous editions that Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman came forward, this platform has doubled the speed of journey to Pakistan team for these players,” he highlighted.

“Ibtisam, Shaheen Shah Afridi are young and need time but they have shown that they have got the potential to play international level. Shadab also gets quick exposure.”

 These players have got the stepping stone and if they continue to work like this then there is no doubt that they will be representing Pakistan,” Bazid added.

He said that the best part is that the players get to play under pressure conditions in PSL which they usually don’t get in other domestic matches at home. TV coverage, crowds in stadium gives them exposure to players. Another great opportunity for players in PSL, according to Bazid, is the opportunity to share the dressing room with stalwarts like Viv Richards.

“These players are very lucky to be sharing the dressing room with legends like Viv Richards. Before PSL, no player would have even thought of getting tips from Viv but PSL has made it possible for them. Imagine if Viv saying to a junior player ‘well done’ then he’ll get self-belief and it will give the player more courage to do more. There are Wasim and Waqar as well to motivate players in different dugouts. Along with them Kumar Sangakkara, McCullum, Pietersen are also a big name to make these players feel confident. This also enhances your career skills,” he said.