Najam Sethi, who is heading a panel governing the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) affairs till a chairman is elected, said on Friday that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was the “biggest T20 brand” after the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he announced the schedule for the eighth edition of the tournament.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Sethi said: “I think you will appreciate that over the years, PSL is the biggest T20 brand in the private sector after the IPL.”
He said that this was evident by the fact that there were “three to four” other T20 leagues currently under way in the world and “all of them have planned their leagues before us”.
“They know that maybe if they enter into a competition with us then they won’t be able to compete in terms of prestige and value.
“So that is a sign that our PSL is flying high. This momentum has been kept going by previous administrations and we will continue it as well,” he added.
Sethi said the league’s previous edition was particularly lucrative with the participation of international and domestic players. He further said that the eighth edition would be a similarly “star-studded” event.
Separately, a press release issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) quoted Sethi as saying that the tournament would be a “massive event” with the “world’s best T20 cricketers in action”.
“We aim to make the HBL PSL bigger, better and stronger than ever before with the overarching ambition to make it the first-choice event for leading T20 cricketers.”
According to the press release, the league will kick off on February 13 in Multan and culminate on March 19 in Lahore.
“Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi will share between them the 34-match tournament, and the event schedule has been designed in such a way that the four home sides will each play five matches in front of their fans and supporters — one against each side,” the press release said.
It added that the tournament would be held in two legs with the Multan Cricket Stadium and the National Bank Cricket Arena splitting matches from Feb 13-26 before shifting to the Gaddafi Stadium and Pindi Cricket Stadium where the matches would be played from Feb 26-Mar 19.
The PCB also said that the PSL would include the “soft launch” of the Pakistan Women’s League with three exhibition matches being played in the lead-up to the men’s matches in Rawalpindi on Mar 8, 10 and 11.
“The two women’s sides are expected to comprise leading local and foreign players, details of which will be announced in due course,” the PCB said.
Feb 13 – Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars, Multan Cricket Stadium
Feb 14 – Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 15 – Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators, Multan Cricket Stadium
Feb 16 – Karachi Kings v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 17 – Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi, Multan Cricket Stadium
Feb 18 – Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 19 – Multan Sultans v Islamabad United, Multan Cricket Stadium; Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 20 – Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 21 – Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 22 – Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings, Multan Cricket Stadium
Feb 23 – Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 24 – Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena
Feb 26 – Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans, National Bank Cricket Arena; Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi, Gaddafi Stadium
Feb 27 – Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United, Gaddafi Stadium
Mar 1 – Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 2 – Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators, Gaddafi Stadium
Mar 3 – Islamabad United v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 4 – Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans, Gaddafi Stadium
Mar 5 – Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 6 – Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 7 – Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Islamabad United v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 8 – Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 1, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 9 – Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 10 – Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 2, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 11 – Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 3, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium
Mar 12 – Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings, Gaddafi Stadium
Mar 15 – Qualifier (1 v 2), Gaddafi Stadium
Mar 16 – Eliminator 1 (3 v 4), Gaddafi Stadium
Mar 17 – Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier v winner Eliminator 1), Gaddafi Stadium
Mar 19 – Final, Gaddafi Stadium