Nowadays cricket is not just a sport, it is a business, an advertisement market. Mostly companies use cricket for their advertisement. Same is the case in Pakistan domestic cricket circuit, department teams are taking place of regional teams.
In Pakistan different departments are now involved in playing cricket, instead of sponsoring teams they are making new team with their name instead of region or province name. These teams are offering good money and facilities to the players which is a positive thing for players, but they are taking cricket away from region, cities like Karachi, Lahore, or Islamabad b/c headquarters of these teams are located there.
But taking away cricket from region to specific headquarter or department is not a good sign for cricket development in Pakistan. Because nobody takes interest in department cricket, there is no competition, no fan following, no grass root level cricket, no opportunities for the youth.
Why region teams are important? Strong regional team means there is proper sport facilities, junior teams, coaching staff, ground and the most important their fans and public support!
Who supports department teams? Even a lot of us don’t know about them but they are consider as top teams in domestic level, top teams of Pakistan domestic circuit and nobody knows, no fans, no supporters in ground to show love and support, not a good sign for our cricket.
People are always dying to see Afridi, Ahmed Shehzad, Misbah, and many other Pakistani stars when they are playing for their region, but the same players when play for departments nobody cares.
Psl representing different regions, what a league of cricket it was. A success to be remembered for a long time, those emotional moments, trilling games, Darren Sammy selfie celebration, Rumman Raees wicket celebration, Grant Elliot bat drop celebration, and yes the final happened at Lahore was just like a dream .
And the best part of the league was the “war of words” among supporters of different regions huh what a positive war it was, where the issue was not language, cast, political status, only reason to fight was cricket. I have never seen such a local support for a region team in my life, Lahore the Qalandars, Quetta the Gladiators, Karachi the Kings, Islamabad the United , and yes the champions Peshawar the Zalmi.
The celebration of Peshawar was amazing, I have never seen that much firework, roads full of people, dancing chanting zalmi zalmi, screens were placed to watch match in all around Pakistan. Not even when Pakistan plays against India.
This is what region sports give you just because of 1 single league. Talent hunt arranged by Lahore Qalandars in Punjab, Peshawar zalmi arranged in a talent hunt in KP, and players like Fakhar Zaman were identified, Peshawar Zalmi also supported cancer patient in Peshawar, and took APS students to Dubai and many more, similarly Karachi and Quetta also conducted talent hunt programs in their cities were all achievements from this platform.
Every region team was supporting their region by sponsoring students, providing an opportunity that’s why I support regional teams instead of department’s teams.
It’s not only happening in cricket but every sport in Pakistan is losing support from public, football is another example, we need to adopt similar system like Europe.
Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern, PSG, Chelsea, etc they all are local clubs and thats why everyone know about them.
I am not against those departments, companies, banks who supports sports in Pakistan my point is to sponsor the region teams instead of making new teams with company’s, departments’ name.
I hope to see region system back in Pakistan sports very soon INSHALLAH.