Pakistan Super League (PSL) to join the Twenty20 Party
Recently Doha, Qatar was named as the venue for the inaugural Pakistan Super League 2016.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that the competition will commence on the 4th February 2016.
It is planned to replace the domestic Super 8- T20 Cup competition.
The PSL has had several stop starts over the last few years but never went ahead due to ‘logistical’ reasons.
The new tournament will be a Twenty20 format with five franchised clubs, under the management of the PCB. These teams are likely to be finalised from Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Sialkot. The teams will play each other twice before entering into the play offs and final.
Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja have been named as PSL ambassadors, to publicise and represent the league.
As well as the top Pakistani players, up to thirty T20 specialist International stars are expected to participate from all around the cricketing world. Each team is likely to have 12 Pakistani players and 4 foreign Internationals.
The franchise will enter a draft system to obtain players from the following categories;
Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver and Emerging.
The draft is likely to take place in October.
Many International quality players are looking to play in the various T20 leagues around the world. There is definitely an appetite for the ‘have bat will travel’ attitude, especially for lucrative deals.
The tournament is expected to last for 20 days, with the final to be played on Wednesday 24th February.
Sponsorship for the event and franchises is likely to bring in much needed finances for TV rights and brand memorabilia including shirts.
If the Pakistan cricket management can pull off a well organised tournament with the high profile International stars, it will once again raise the profile of Pakistan cricket in a positive way.
The future steps may even be encouraging more International cricket teams to tour Pakistan or even basing the PSL at home.