Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy and Sunil Narine!
We are not talking about the current West Indian team.
The above mentioned line-up is for the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) to be held in Qatar from February 2016.
Other former players like Owais Shah (England) and Brad Hodge (Australia) too are set to ply their wares in one of the five franchise teams.
What exactly is the PSL?
The PSL is a tournament modeled on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Big Bash T-20 which starts in February 2016 and is the brainchild of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta are the five teams what will play in the 20-day long tournament with a $ Million awaiting the winners.
Though reining in the above players is only the tip of the iceberg, a lot of razzmatazz is expected with even more marquee names expected to be named soon.
A total of 25 overseas players are expected in the draft pool of the PSL and the tournament is being used as a launch pad for Pakistani cricketers who aim to ready themselves for the 2016 World T-20 in India.
Can Pakistan cricket benefit from this tournament in the long run?
A boon to Pakistani cricket?
A big ‘YES’ in terms of preparation for the World T20 but in the longer run it cannot solely be relied on if Pakistani cricket is to get back on track.
Of course the PSL will definitely help Pakistani players (shorn of valuable cricket action back home), get their act in place, as they will pit their skills against the best in the business.
Names like Gayle and Pollard are enough to bring in crowds by the hordes and by the looks of it the tournament looks set to be a success.
Who knows, it may even help if Pakistan replicate their 2009 World T20 win in 2016.
It gives players with sagging careers a chance to resurrect their careers through a good performance or two in the league thus earn a ticket to the World T20.
The amazing fact is that of PCB chairman and PSL Secretary Najam Sethi confirming that almost 80 overseas players had shown eagerness to participate in the PSL.
But then again, despite having eight T20 leagues around the year in Pakistan, why does the PCB seek the PSL to revive cricket in the troubled country?
Will it go on the lines of the ISL?
Parallel’s can be drawn with Indian football’s newly launched Indian Super League (ISL).
Though the ISL has done the unthinkable of filling up football stadiums in India with thousands of screaming fans, it is not the solution for the country to becoming a super power in the sport.
Despite having a plethora of retired and semi-retired European and world football stars, the ISL at best is a three-month long affair which can be termed as a short-term solution for Indian football.
Sadly Indian football languishes at a lowly ranking of 155 in the FIFA World rankings, proof enough of the fact that the problem lies elsewhere.
The same can be said of Pakistani cricket which needs to search for a permanent solution rather than banking on a 20-day league to revive its fortunes.
A step in the right direction?
Belief is that the PSL will help Pakistani cricket have a shot at redemption despite having had to endure many problems since the horrors of 2009.
Of course Zimbabwe bravely broke a six-year old international cricket drought by touring Pakistan earlier this May, but memories of the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 still do linger.
Thankfully both nations played out terrific cricket (despite another terror scare at Lahore on May 29), with the Zimbabweans being widely lauded for their ‘braveness’ to tour.
Even if the PSL may not be the solution for international cricket returning to Pakistan, it comes as a breath of fresh air for players who have been longing to compete with the best.
With the likes of Gayle and Pollard being reined in, Sethi definitely has taken the first and most important step as Pakistani cricket aims to grow wings again.
However, only time will tell as to whether the PSL will prove to be a success. For the moment, it can definitely help both players and fans take their minds off what has been a turbulent period for Pakistani cricket.
As Shahid Afridi and Co. gear up to battle it out in the T20 arena – get set for some thrilling action which may signal the start of better things to come for cricket in Pakistan.