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Transformative journey

Transformative journey

Interview with Mr. Shahzad Khan, Broadcast Journalist


Mr Shahzad Khan is one the most revered broadcast journalists in Pakistan. Being a broadcast journalist and anchor, he has made an immense contribution to the realm of the media landscape. He has been working with numerous TV channels in Pakistan. 

PAGE: This season is the ninth season of The Pakistan Super League (PSL), which makes it a veteran among T20 franchise leagues. What is your perspective?

Shahzad Khan: PSL has been a turning point in Pakistan cricket. Though we have been playing this type of cricket (or even a shorter format) long before any other nation, making us already a veteran in shorter format cricket, PSL came as an amazing opportunity for many of our younger guys to prove that they can play better in a shorter style of cricket.

In the past, we had many players who played faster and more aggressive cricket, but the ODI and Test playing conditions restricted them from playing freely. When the T20 leagues emerged and subsequently IPL banned Pakistani players, PSL became an opportunity for not only Pakistani domestic and emerging players to grow and shine but the international players also welcomed it, they took part in it and made it a success. So yes, PSL is a well-earned name of success and pride for the local and international players. 

PAGE: The star quotient in the foreign player roster seems to have taken a hit this season. There’s a broader sense that with more money on offer in the ILT20 and SA20, and in more attractive destinations, the PSL might be the league the bigger names choose to skip in this cramped window. How would you comment on it?

Shahzad Khan: Definitely, the new leagues are offering more money and it has an effect on PSL as well, but I still believe this will be a short-term drop for PSL. There are always a slew of players from every country who are left behind in the draws and are available at any given time of the year. PSL will soon recover from this shortfall. But this is also an opportunity for the local players to be in the limelight as well, so I see this as a great window opening for the new players.

PAGE: Each of the six franchises has won the league at least once. What is your standpoint?

Shahzad Khan: While each of the teams have won the trophy at least once, I believe there are a few teams which have made their real impact on the event. Initially, it was Karachi Kings and Islamabad United which looked firm and steady, but they have an amazing record. Islamabad United (twice, the last one in 2018) and Karachi Kings (once, in 2020) have won every time they reached the finals. Other than that, they have never been able to reach the top. While other teams have shown great versatility, Peshawar Zalmi have played the most number of finals (4, won once in 2017) and Quetta Gladiators and Lahore Qalandars have played 3 finals. Lahore Qalandars were trolled initially for their failures but it turns out that they are not only producing new talent but also winning the matches. The last two consecutive finals were won by Lahore Qalandars which shows the effort of the management and the players. But the late addition to the event is the most promising of all Multan Sultans. They have been one of the finalists in three consecutive finals. While other teams like Karachi and Islamabad have their media hype with them, they are playing consistently good cricket and giving good results too, so now I think it is time to add a few more teams to the event, to make it more competitive and colourful as well..

PAGE: A year after BCCI banned all betting sponsorships for official broadcasters and IPL, the Pakistan government has also banned betting and surrogacy sponsorships for PSL franchises. Your views:

Shahzad Khan: A big question regarding betting sites has been raised by many people in the cricketing world. Recently, PCB has also banned the betting and surrogacy sponsors, a year after BCCI banned them. I believe it is better to keep them away to keep the cricketing events clean. Especially, for a country like Pakistan which has been the centre of talk regarding match-fixing and spot-fixing scandals. Pakistan has lost its esteem many times, and many great players as well. So now, it is a good lesson for the PCB to stay away from these grey areas. It has to be safe rather than be sorry.

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