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PSL for the Pakistani diaspora

Pakistan Super League (PSL) is an annual attraction not only for the people residing in Pakistan but also for over 11 million Pakistani diaspora living abroad from Asia to Europe, from America to Australia etc. The 2021 edition of the tournament popularly known as PSL 6 is going to get underway from February 21, 2021 and would culminate on March 22, 2021 with ample fanfare.

Pakistani diaspora is in fact more exuberant vis-à-vis the Pakistanis living in Pakistan when it comes to PSL. They, no matter what country they are in, gear up for almost all 34 matches and relish every moment of every match with the Pakistani community in that particular country. The excitement about the event is palpable in their demeanor. Johar, a young Pakistani student residing in Sydney, shares his every delight with his family and friends back in Pakistan through social media. Sadia, a housewife from San Francisco, is overjoyed every time the schedule of PSL is announced. She along with her entire family intends to watch every match even though there is time difference of 10 hours between Pakistan and the USA. The preparations commence at least a couple of months prior to the commencement of the PSL. The family is bisected in two groups and this is how the excitement gets underway. There are cheers across the house with the fall of each wicket and with every boundary. The family relishes the scintillating commentary of each match accompanied by the display of the celebrations. All family members view this as a wholesome activity which rejuvenates all and sundry. They deem PSL an event with boundless prospects inherent to it.

Iqbal from Malaysia waits eagerly for every match. Naveed has been to France for over a decade. He watches every match with zeal and zest. Malik, a young Pakistani residing in New York, admires globally recognizable performers playing in PSL. For him, PSL has become a Pakistani brand which fascinates not only the members of Pakistani but also the Indian and Bangladeshi diaspora. He appreciates the commercialization of cricket in Pakistan which has beefed up the national team in terms of getting the requisite talent to compete at the international level. He also reminisces the performance of the city-based teams since PSL is relatively a recent phenomenon. The city-based teams to him were largely restricted to certain boundaries, however, it is the PSL which transcends all categorization and this is how the Pakistani youngsters are getting exposure to the global competition.

It is a common sight to see the Pakistani community in Barcelona and Madrid clad in shalwar kameez during the PSL matches. This is how they exhibit their adoration for their beloved homeland. Plenty of Pakistanis in Spain live in Catalonia, especially Barcelona, where the celebrations during the tournament are palpable in everything. Traditional Pakistani cuisine and large gatherings tantalize the locals as well who at times become the part of such celebrations. After every match is over, there are phone calls back in Pakistan with plenty of discussion about the matches and their results.

Out of 11 million Pakistani diaspora, majority of them are in the UK, the USA, Canada, and the Gulf by virtue of employment opportunities. Let alone Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir etc. even New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London etc. are abuzz with the celebrations of the PSL by the Pakistani diaspora. The mesmerizing and notable thing by the Pakistani diaspora is the support for every team of the PSL irrespective of the fact they belong to a certain city back in Pakistan. It is just the country which unites the diaspora and they relish every bit of the tournament.

There is no denying that overseas Pakistanis have gotten profound lover for their country which is evident through remittances which help the country emerge from the financial trouble. It was in the not-too-distant-past when country encountered a balance-of-payments problem and the government came up with the notion of launching diaspora bonds to raise $3 billion. Pakistani diaspora contributed to the Diamer-Bhasha Dam fund raising out of love for their country.

Last but not least, over 500,000 Pakistanis and Pakistani-Americans share their memories with their descendants when they were back in Pakistan. Zafar from Houston is quite agile when it comes to gather the Pakistanis to watch the PSL matches live.

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