DUBAI - Dashing Islamabad United opener Luke Ronchi has praised the wealth of talent at display in the HBL Pakistan Super League and cherished his match-winning knock in last year’s final in Karachi which lifted his franchise to the second title in three years.

Ronchi, who is one of the very few players to have played for two nations – his native New Zealand and Australia – topped last year’s batting chart with 435 runs in 11 innings at a whooping strike-rate of 182. Before a packed Karachi crowd, Ronchi compiled a dashing 52 off 26 balls with five sixes and four fours to lift Islamabad to a three-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi.

“PSL has been great fun,” Ronchi said on Tuesday “It is a tough competition with a good wealth of local talent. “I get enjoyment out of meeting new people and trying to help guys have a great experience being in different leagues. I am also there to have fun playing a sport I love,” said Ronchi who retired from international cricket in June 2017.

Since then, he has been playing in the Twenty20 leagues around the world. Ronchi said he enjoyed a visit to Pakistan. “It was a great experience,” said Ronchi of the visit in March last year. “Firstly, as it was the final, secondly because we won, and thirdly because we all got to go there and give a great performance in front of a great crowd that love and support the game so well,” he said and added: “I had been to Pakistan about 10 years ago so I knew what to expect. The best part was the support everyone got from the local fans.”

Ronchi believed HBL PSL matches were helping in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan. “It’s a great experience being in Pakistan and great to take cricket back there and for all teams to put on such a great spectacle.”

This year, Ronchi has struck form in two of the five matches, scoring 67 not out in a win over Karachi Kings and 51 vs Multan Sultans. Playing for twice champions Islamabad has been a fun for Ronchi. “Playing for Islamabad has been great fun. Great people throughout the whole franchise. Always fun playing for a winning team. It is always a great feeling winning and they group here are amazing, everyone really enjoys each other’s company and love it when someone has a great performance in our games.”