ISLAMABAD - Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar has confirmed that he is interested to buy Islamabad franchise in the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL), as he is emotionally attached with Rawalpindi and Islamabad cricket and can't think about buying any other franchise.

Talking to The Nation, Shoaib said: “I am very much confident of buying the Islamabad franchise and let me assure all, I will turn the fortunes of the Islamabad team and everybody will witness positives. I have huge plans in this regard. Let the time come, I will implement all my plans for the betterment of the players and the PSL is a huge platform for accomplish this task. I always put country way ahead of my personal motives and betterment of my cricket and players is my top priority. It will certainly raise the standard of the game and bring revolution in players’ life, who will feel lot of financial comfort and will be in better frame of mind.”

When asked he was also interested in buying Rawalpindi Region, Shoaib declined to comment on that particular issue and termed these are highly confidential things and would only talk when appropriate time would come. “For the time being, I am completely focused on buying Islamabad franchise. I know competition will be very tough, as everybody will be interested in buying franchises of their liking, but I am quite confident, I will be able to fulfill my dream of buying Islamabad franchise,” Shoaib concluded.

Shoaib is looking very determined and serious contender. His past reputation shows, whenever he had planned something, he mostly succeeded in doing so. It would be in great benefit of twin cities cricket and coaches, had Shoaib finally managed to purchase the Islamabad franchise, it could bring revolution not only among players’ life, but the local coaches as well.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set $1.5 million as base price of Islamabad franchise, with another $10 million as 15 players security money paid to the players’ each bidder had to put his bid beyond the asking price. In case, there were contest among bidders and anyone submits less than the base price, then bidders will sit and a formula will be set. But one thing is sure, no bid less than $1.5 million base price will be accepted and the highest bidder will be declared successful.

Every team has to nominate an icon player, who will be paid $200,000 while two to three players will be paid $140,000 each, two to three players $70,000 each, three players $50,000 each, five players $25,000 each and two emerging/U-19 players $10,000 each, while $200,000 will be spared for coaching staff and other backroom staff.

The sources in the PCB have confirmed that first year successful franchise holders would toe the PCB line and draft approved by the board, all the details and rules are for the first edition. From the second edition, franchise holders are free to buy the players/coaches of their liking, who were up for grasp by the PCB.

The sources added that the PCB was very determined to provide maximum opportunities to local coaches and it is their utmost priority to make sure franchise owners implement their set plan, while another well-placed source also confirmed that the PCB top brass was seriously looking into ways and means to explore local coaches’ option.

Holding the PSL first edition at UAE will certainly attract spectators, as it is a proven second home for Pakistan. Although Najam Sethi is still thinking on lines of exploring other possible destination like Doha, Qatar, one thing is quite sure the way Najam Sethi is taking the PSL seriously, it is going to be a mega hit and will definitely attract some of the biggest names of modern cricket and can bring revolution in Pakistan cricket. The PSL can rewrite cricket history in Pakistan and cricketers will be major beneficiaries, while the soft image of Pakistan cricket will rise.