How to Become a Professional Cricketer in Pakistan

Know how to become a professional cricketer in Pakistan and the domestic tournaments of the country that define a cricketer’s career in Pakistan.

How to Become a Professional Cricketer in Pakistan
Subhayan Dutta

Written by: Subhayan Dutta

(Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Last updated: 2023-12-26

5 minutes read

After the partition of India in 1947, Pakistan was introduced to international cricket in 1952 - a move seminal enough to create a bunch of legendary cricketers from the South Asian region. A hub for talented fast bowlers and legendary graceful batters, there has never been a shortage of quality players emerging from the country of Pakistan.

The country has bore testimony to the rise of the likes of Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, Inzaman-Ul-Haq, Mohammed Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik, and Mohammed Hafeez among others. While controversy and unpredictability have gone hand in hand in Pakistan cricket, it remains a lucrative career to aspire for the small kids in Pakistan.

How To Become A Cricketer In Pakistan

The Pakistan Cricket Board, also named PCB, have been the governing body of cricket in the country since 1947. They are also an official member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). They have been conducting their premier domestic competition - the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy - a first-class event since 1952.

Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Champions Karachi Whites.jpeg

 

Apart from that, the Pakistan Cup (List A) and the National T20 Cup (Domestic T20) have been conducted in Pakistan. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) emerged much later in 2015, and since then, it has become an integral part of Pakistan’s national cricket calendar. Players’ performances in these tournaments go a long way in defining how to join the Pakistan cricket team.

Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

The first-class event was named after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, who was known as "Quaid-e-Azam" (Great Leader). For the first edition, five regional and two departmental teams contested in the event -  Bahawalpur, Punjab, Karachi, North-West Frontier Province, Sindh, Combined Services, and Pakistan Railways.

The structure of the event remained mostly the same till 2019 when the PCB announced a new structure that removed the traditional regions and departments. Balochistan, Central Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northern, Sindh, and Southern Punjab contested in the edition, but in 2023, the event further changed to an eight-team event, with Faisalabad, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Karachi Whites, Lahore Blues, Lahore Whites, Multan, Peshawar and Rawalpindi being the contestant teams. 

Pakistan Cup

Pentangular One Day Cup Pakistan.jpeg

The Pakistan Cup, which was earlier called the Pentangular One Day Cup, is the national domestic List A cricket competition in Pakistan. Just like the first-class competition, the premier List A domestic competition in Pakistan used to be contested by association departments or a combination of the two. That, however, has been discontinued and is going on regional lines.

National T20 Cup

The National T20 Cup is conducted by the PCB every year in a similar structure as that of the Pakistan Cup. While this is the premier domestic T20 competition, it is currently acting as a feeder system for PCB’s flagship T20 tournament Pakistan Super League - a format where the best of the lot come together to celebrate the grand extravaganza.

Sialkot Stallions have been the most successful team in the National T20 Cup, winning the title a total of six times. The tournament has also seen a format change multiple times, currently leaving room for further improvement even though the PCB have diverted most of their focus to growing the Pakistan Super League as one of the leading league events in the world.

Pakistan Super League

The Pakistan Super League is a tournament very similar to the Indian Premier League, where six city-based franchise teams come together once a year to compete in the league. The first edition of the tournament was held in 2015. Unlike IPL, where teams are owned by different owners, PSL teams operate as a single entity in which each franchise is owned and controlled by investors.

PSL Champions.jpeg

 

In the PSL, there is a double round-robin format where teams play each other twice. The top four teams end up making it to the playoffs, where the final positions are decided. PSL has been incredibly successful in attracting some of the top talents from the world and is currently considered the best bowling league in the world, with the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah making regular appearances.

How to Play for Pakistan Cricket Team

To be a professional cricketer in Pakistan, a player needs to rise through the ranks to play in tournaments like the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan Cup (List A), and the National T20 Cup (Domestic T20). While the school cricket structure is not so prevalent in Pakistan, there is a clear marking of players playing age-group cricket. Scouts from different departments often identify their talents and provide them with jobs at their organization to bolster their cricketing growth.

The PCB also conducts regular camps in different parts of the country to ensure that hidden talents come together. They are then nurtured and provided with adequate facilities to make it to their regional sides. The Pakistan Cricket Board’s National Selection Committee take note of the performances and then often hands them a position in Pakistan A (now known as Pakistan Shaheens) before graduating to the national side.

It is often seen some players have been fast-tracked to the national side thanks to some scouts picking them from a very young age and providing them with opportunities to play in the PSL. The rise of Haris Rauf is an example of the same. 

Challenges for Pakistan Cricketers

It is not easy to navigate through the political interventions in Pakistan cricket and sustain as a cricketer. While incidents like match-fixing have drastically reduced in Pakistan cricket, the petty-mindedness of some administrators has been so prevalent that many cricketers have found it hard to concentrate on their game.

Furthermore, the involvement of the former cricketers has been extremely limited and controversial to a large extent. Instead of having constructive dialogue, most of the former cricketers have been fighting online, making it a very insecure environment for young cricketers of Pakistan.

Despite that, Pakistan continues to unearth new talents, and some of them have been genuinely good. For Pakistan cricket to grow from here and make their presence felt in world cricket, they need to be cognizant of the idea of consistency and a secure environment. Then we can see many more Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah emerging and taking the world by storm.

FAQ

What are the basic requirements to become a professional cricketer in Pakistan?

To become a professional cricketer in Pakistan, you should start by developing your cricketing skills at a young age, maintaining a high level of fitness, and demonstrating exceptional talent in the sport.

How can I improve my cricketing skills?

Join a local cricket club or academy to receive proper coaching. Practice regularly, focus on all aspects of the game such as batting, bowling, and fielding, and participate in local tournaments to gain experience.

Is education important for aspiring cricketers in Pakistan?

Yes, education is crucial. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) emphasizes the importance of education for cricketers. Balancing education with cricket ensures a more well-rounded development.

What is the salary of cricketers in Pakistan?

Generally, a contracted PCB Pakistan player earns 500,000 rupees a month ($1,700), Players like Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmad, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood, Ihsanullah, Mohammad Haris and more earn this salary.

How much Pakistan Cricket Board earn in one year?

Three per cent of ICC earnings, or about $1 million, will go to the players as a share. The PCB will get an annual payment from the ICC of almost $34 million.

Related Articles

How Many Cricketers are there in the World?

Cricket

How Many Cricketers are there in the World?

Know how many cricketers are there in the world and who are the most popular among them all. Also, know how many countries play cricket internationally.

Subhayan Dutta

2023-11-09

India vs Pakistan 2007 T20 World Cup Final: First Finale That Came Ever So Close

Cricket

India vs Pakistan 2007 T20 World Cup Final: First Finale That Came Ever So Close

The India vs Pakistan 2007 T20 World Cup final finish is considered one of the closest amongst ICC events, as it went right to the wire. Know in full detail.

Subhayan Dutta

2023-10-11

How Many T20 World Cup Pakistan Won

Cricket

How Many T20 World Cup Pakistan Won

Pakistan emerged victorious in the 2009 T20 World Cup, marking their sole title triumph in the tournament to date.

Umaima Saeed

2023-11-20

Subhayan Dutta

Subhayan Dutta

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.

More articles by this author