Are you new to the Pakistan Super League? Are you still trying to unpack who these teams are and what they stand for?
Well, try no more, because I’ve done the work for you.
Let’s crack right in.
This is the franchise that represents the capital of Pakistan. And just like most world capitals, only politicians live there and ex cricketers who want to be the Prime Minister like Imran Khan.
Their website says that their logo, a lions head “… is made out of fire flames and that the team will play each game in absolute team spirit like a pride of lions.”
Now, if you wanted to show that you will play like a pride of lions, would you just put a heap of lions in your logo? This is what England do. Co-incidentally, England don’t have lions natively in their country. Which makes you think. Not only have England stolen South African players over the journey, but they’ve also stolen their lions for their logo.
Anyhow, back to Islamabad. What are they United against? It’s not very clear, is it. I’m hoping it is a stand against Biryani that is too dry. That would be a proper cause that I could get behind.
Not wanting to be outdone by Islamabad, the Kings of Karachi also spout a lion as their symbol. The great thing about the Karachi lion as opposed to the Islamabad lion is that the Karachi lion’s head isn’t on fire. Instead, its mane is blue. Just like no lion ever in the history of lions.
The other interesting point about the Karachi Kings is that they clearly do not rate themselves against franchises like Chennai. Because Chennai call themselves Super Kings versus just regular old normal Kings like Karachi do.
But then again, the Karachi every day run of the mill kings are yet to be banned from a T20 tournament, so maybe they are the superior version?
The great thing about Peshawar is that like the word orange, it doesn’t rhythm with much. Therefore, it is hard to make good song lyrics about this team.
I didn’t know what Zalmi meant so I went to the Peshawar website to find out. On it, it says that Zalmi means “youth. But then it goes on to say that “Peshawar is the part of the country where the concept of endothermy is long extinct and the blood running down is boiling hot.”
I’ve never seen the word endothermy used in any sporting clubs motto. I’ve actually never seen that word used anywhere ever. What does it even mean? I cant even begin to make any sense of this.
I’m also yet to hear the crowd chant “Endothermy Endothermy Endothermy”. This is such a great shame.
Anyhow, getting back to that youth concept, Peshawar Zalmi clearly embrace it. That’s why their player list includes wonderful up and coming talent like Kamran Akmal, Daren Sammy and Mohammad Hafeez.
I like that Quetta have embraced modern pop culture by naming their team after that brilliant Russell Crowe movie Gladiator. Now here’s a fun fact. Russell Crowe is actually a cousin of that magnificent Kiwi batsman Martin Crowe and Martin actually had a starring role as an extra in the Gladiator movie.
I didn’t make that up. It is a true story. Not a word of a lie.
Now the thing about Gladiators is that at the end of the day, most of them lived an unhappy life. They had to walk around in all of that heavy armour and get eaten by lions in colosseums. The other thing is that they were Roman, which in modern day terms is in Italy. And I know for a fact that Italians never were, and are still not very good at cricket.
So perhaps if Quetta had their time again, they would choose a different movie to name their team after? One where the lead characters have a happy life and are very successful. Like the Quetta Forrest Gumps or the Quetta Slumdog Millionaires?
Lahore are another team that have chosen to name themselves using a noun that I don’t know the meaning of. So off to the Lahore Qalandars website I went, searching for an explanation.
I assumed that Qalandar meant “to lose heaps of matches” because no T20 franchise anywhere in the world has a worse win/loss ration than these guys. But I was wrong.
A Qalandar is actually an honorific title given to a saint who is at a very high level of spirituality. The website continues to talk about messages of love and that they represent people who “enjoy freedoms from the ties and bounds of time and space.”
Given how deep and complex these messages are, I thought it wise to see who plays for them, as clearly they would have to be the sharpest minds in cricket.
And I was proven right. Umar Akmal is their star player
This debut franchise is named after a city that I’ve actually visited. By visit, I mean I spent two hours in transit at a metropolitan bus station waiting for my ride. But you can’t fight for a seat in a bus shelter and not leave feeling as though you have experienced the inner soul of a place. However I’m not sure that the inner soul of the Multan that I experienced looked anything like a Sultan.
You can tell that Multan were a little rushed in getting ready for this year’s PSL. When you go to their website to learn more about them, the only blurb about their mission is “This team aims to bring excitement and entertainment for the people of the region, and create a significant mark in the tournament.”
No talk of love. No talk of passion. Or of a lion’s heads on fire or endothermy. It’s as if they couldn’t even be bothered trying. Either that, or Multan chose not to spend millions of rupees on a bunch of expensive marketing blokes in order to come up with a nonsensical mission statement that no one will read anyway.
Well, I thought that, but then I saw their logo. A cricketer riding a stallion while waving a cricket bat in your general direction. This is obviously where those millions of rupees were spent. Unfortunately, they were not spent very well.