After the success of the First edition of the Kashmir Premier League (KPL), organizers of KPL announced the second season of KPL which is expected to start in the first week of August 2022 in Muzaffarabad Cricket stadium. The First edition of KPL was also hosted by Muzaffarabad stadium as it is the only stadium in the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir with complete facilities to compete with the standards set in modern T20 leagues and their venues.
This time it is expected to be more successful and profitable for KPL in terms of revenue generation/ financial matters, crowd-pulling, quality of cricket, and a supportive environment for organizers of KPL season 2.
Role of Government
At the time of the first edition of KPL in 2021, there were certain issues as there was a PMLN government in AJK and PTI Government in federal. Former prime minister State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider khan wasn’t so much supportive of KPL organizers as at that time Chairman Kashmir committee Shehryar Afridi (from PTI) was leading team KPL for the first edition of KPL. So, as expected politics nearly made KPL season one impossible – But, with the PTI Government in AJK after the general elections of 2021, Sardar Qayyum Niazi became prime minister of the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. With like-minded governments in Federal and in AJK, KPL season one was organized just to keep the trust of Franchises and other stakeholders.
This time around, the Government of AJK is totally on board with KPL organizers for season 2 in Muzaffarabad. From the Launching ceremony of KPL season 2 to trials of different Franchises in AJK, every time government officials were present – Even Khawaja Farooq Ahmed (Minister of Local Government and Rural Development AJK) was present at the press conference of the Muzaffarabad tigers team in Muzaffarabad. The role of the Present Government is still a confusing one, their words are against KPL administration but their actions are somewhat supportive.
Jammu janbaaz – new team
Jammu janbaaz is an addition to the KPL teams this season. There were reservations of other Franchises about the addition of a new franchise in the second Edition, But the KPL Team after a series of meetings with franchise owners made it possible to have one more team this year.
KPL – opportunities for Local Players
Kashmir Premier League is proved to be the missing link in cricket in the state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir as for the first time in the history of AJK, local players got the chance to play with national and international players. Local players got reasonable money, more exposure, experience in Televised matches, and many more perks and privileges.
After the first season of KPL, there has been a remarkable improvement in the quality and quantity of cricket in AJK as local players got a new target, that is to take a place in any franchise team of KPL for coming seasons.
No COVID Restrictions – more Crowd
As COVID restrictions are lifted, it’s expected that people would get chances to meet their cricket heroes. Some franchises are planning to design some sort of meet-ups for selected Fans with their favorite franchise Heroes.
In the first season of KPL, the crowd was poorly mismanaged as there were several cases reported where people even having tickets for the match weren’t allowed to enter in the stadium and were beaten by police as well. This time around, as there are no restrictions on COVID-19, it’s expected that crowd entry would be more managed and well maintained. People will come out in large numbers as KPL is the only way of entertainment, Kashmiris have on the national level in AJK.
Looking at the positive response from the Government of AJK, efforts by KPL Team and all franchises – KPL season 2 is expected to be more successful than season one.