Chris Gayle West Indies World Cup
Chris Gayle is one of the marquee players in the PSL. Reuters

IPL's success has led to a number of cricket leagues around the world springing up, with the latest being the Pakistan Super League, which will start from 4 February. The organisers – Pakistan Cricket Board – have huge hopes for the PSL, as they want their league to become the second best T20 competition in the world, after the IPL.

That will be a tall ask for the PCB, as other leagues such as Big Bash League in Australia and Ram Slam T20 challenge in South Africa are already quite popular amongst the fans. The quality of cricket played in these competitions is also world-class.

"It's been a hard grind and our blood pressures have gone up and down. We were told that there's not enough juice in the market. But we were adamant that we couldn't keep postponing. We are determined to become the second best Twenty20 league (after the Indian Premier League) in the world," Gulf News quoted PSL Chairman Najam Sethi as saying.

Five teams -- Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators -- will fight it out for the maiden PSL title. Some big names from the world of international cricket have agreed to participate in the tournament, including Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen and Shane Watson.

Along with these stars, Pakistan cricketers like Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez will also represent their respective sides in the competition.

Though the success of the PSL can only be judged once the competition commences, PSL franchise Karachi Kings' owner, Salman Iqbal, is positive of success, after his team was launched in front of a jam-packed stadium in Karachi.

"It was unbelievable and the entire national stadium was full. It actually felt like an India vs Pakistan match. Karachi has gone through so much troubled times, like so many terrorist attacks, that people actually wanted to come out and celebrate," Iqbal told reporters.

All franchises in the PSL are aware that they might not make money from the first edition of the PSL, but they are hopeful that the future editions of the tournament will bring in the profits.

"We actually managed to get a lot of sponsors. We have nine logo sponsors and we just had a month to sell and so all the franchises have accepted that in the first year we will have to incur huge losses. Karachi team being the most expensive team, I will bear the biggest loss but from next year onwards we will start to break even and start making some profit," added Iqbal.

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