Long gone are the days of Test Cricket when the art of fielding used to rely heavily on the aspect of patience. However, after the advent of One Day and T20 cricket the term fielding is now associated with fitness, the ability to pluck difficult catches from thin air and making diving stops to save runs. Nowadays, players that have a higher standard of fitness and exceptional fielding skills are preferred over those who do not possess these qualities.
T20 cricket is an attacking format of cricket as overs are limited and so batsman try to hit every ball. This is where a skilled fielder saves runs and even takes diving catches on the boundary to turn things in his team’s favour. There have been countless instances where we have seen that the aspect of fielding becomes the tie-breaker between two strong well-balanced teams. Statistics also indicate that the team that has the least errors in the department of fielding wins most of the time.
Pakistan Super League started two years back and some amazing fielding efforts have been witnessed from international and domestic players alike. After the successful two seasons of Pakistan Super League the third edition of PSL went underway this year by bringing loads of excitement to its fans all over the world. Barely two weeks have passed and we have already seen some exceptional fielding in this edition of the PSL as compared to the previous two seasons.
The current Pakistani Coach Mickey Arthur, also the coach of Karachi Kings in this edition of the PSL was all praise of the outstanding fielding standard of the PSL. Arthur even claimed that this type of fielding has put the Big Bash (Australian T20 League known for its exceptional fielding) to shame.
Mickey also pointed out the fact that this is exactly the culture that we are trying to bring in our international team. He labelled the level of competition as being exceptionally high. The Karachi Kings Coach also expressed out the fact that PSL is playing a great role in exposing young talented boys of Pakistan to the intensity of International Cricket.
Arthur has always been a strong supporter of players who possess exceptional fielding skills. Fielding was also one of the main reasons as to why Pakistan won the Champion Trophy in England in 2017 as they dropped only one catch in the final game against India.
Meanwhile, the PSL 3 continues to become exciting day by day and we can only hope that we witness more world-class catches and fielding efforts of this sort in the matches to come.
The first catch that sparked up excitement among the fans and the cricketers alike was that of Shahid Afridi who is now playing for Karachi Kings after he played two seasons with Peshawar Zalmi. In the match against Quetta Gladiators he gave a treat to his fans by taking an exceptional catch at the boundary.
The second catch is of Joe Denly also playing for the Karachi Kings franchise. He took a blinder at point in a match against Lahore Qalandars and reminded us of the great Jonty Rhodes (a man known for his outstanding fielding skills).