Ranking the best T20 domestic leagues
T20 has become the crown jewel of domestic cricket. While many still deem the Test scene as the most important format at international level, the money involved and the number of star players that are attracted to various domestic T20 leagues around the world highlights the significance of the 20-over format. The top players in the world now tend to hop from tournament to tournament as they look to maximise their earning potential.
We cover a wide array of cricket at TSZ and with the current lull in action, we have decided to take a look at what we deem as the top five T20 leagues. With many to choose from across the world, narrowing them down was a difficult task and leagues such as the Bangladesh Premier League and the Super Smash in New Zealand just miss out in this countdown:
3. Pakistan Super League
Next on our list, at number three, is the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The PSL, like the two before it, does have its limitations in terms of the players it can attract but has a unique way of doing so via their draft that has various rules. Each side has a salary cap of $1.1m that they must utilise on an 18-man squad. This number has been reduced by three for 2020, meaning more money can be spent on less players but two supplementary players can also be signed. Each team must sign three platinum, three diamond, three gold, five silver and two emerging players within their squad with each category possessing a minimum and maximum salary that a player can be paid. Each team also has the option of retaining up to eight players from their 2019 squad, just to make the draft even more complex.
There were some big names among the platinum and diamond listed players for the most recent draft, with the likes of Chris Lynn, Jason Roy and of course, Imran Tahir, all earning spots in the tournament. Despite the overseas presence, it was some of the domestic players that stole the show up until the postponement of the tournament. Impressive youngster Mohammad Hasnain has made a huge impact since his breakthrough and his 15 wickets were more than any other player managed in the competition. He was followed by another youngster in Shaheen Afridi and the more experienced Wahab Riaz which highlights the importance for local players in the PSL.
It is a similar story with the bat where Babar Azam’s 345 runs for Karachi Kings were a tournament high. Another Pakistani took their place in the top five with Shadab Khan notching 263 for Islamabad United, with the other three spots taken by some of the big-name overseas stars. This tournament has been a sensational watch with numerous tight contests but with the coronavirus striking, it brought a premature end to the tournament with many of the overseas players forced to return home. The play-offs are still to be played at a later date and when they do get underway, it could be that the teams competing will need to rely on local talent with the depth set to be heavily tested. That should not be an issue with plenty of impressive youngsters competing in this tournament, with those who do get a chance knowing that it acts as a springboard to the national side.
A breeding ground for local talent with a clear path to international honours and while it boasts some big talent from overseas, the limitations caused because of the rules in the draft hold the tournament back from going to the next level.