LAHORE: All the matches of the fifth iteration of Pakistan Super League (PSL) will take place on home ground, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has announced.
“All the franchisers of the PSL have agreed to have all the matches at home and foreign players also have the keenness to play in Pakistan and their participation will add colour and festivity to the event,” he said at a news conference in Gaddafi Stadium on Thursday.
Mani said four venues — Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Multan — were shortlisted for the matches. Mani said Karachi’s National Stadium has been upgraded and renovated at a cost of Rs2 billion while Rs200 to 300 million and Rs200 million are being spent on Rawalpindi’s and Multan’s stadiums to make them ready to stage matches.
“Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium is ever ready for the PSL matches as it staged its final and semi-finals in the previous editions of the PSL,” he added.
“By having matches of the PSL at home, we will be seeing the franchisers of the teams reaping the benefits by earning revenue which they could not because of the matches at the UAE,” the PCB chairman said.
He further explained that in the ongoing season, Pakistan was hopeful of hosting Sri Lanka and Bangladesh this year. “This is very good news for Pakistan cricket and it will herald the resumption of international cricket in Pakistan,” he added.
The PCB chair noted that the heads of Cricket Australia and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) would be visiting Pakistan this year. Mani also expressed hope that the Asia Cup would be held in Pakistan as per schedule.
The PCB chief made it clear that no franchiser has violated its PSL contract with the PCB and a “wrong impression” had been created in a section of the press in this regard.
He also announced making the PSL a separate entity on the pattern of other world leagues is under consideration. “We want that the PSL should work as an independent body under the control of the PCB and it should work on modern processional lines to make it a successful venture the way other leagues in the world are functioning independently,” he said.
Mani said the prime objective to make the PSL an independent organisation is to make sure decisions are taken timely on professional lines and to make the league a profit-earning venture as well as making it a quality event, which is participated in by the world’s best players.
The PCB chief said he has the same old stance on bilateral cricket with India as they should visit Pakistan first to fulfil their bilateral commitment of playing cricket. “We will not beg to India or any other country to play cricket with us. What we want is the resumption of bilateral cricket ties with India in a decent and dignified manner,” he asserted.
PCB Chief said Pakistan women team will be visiting India this November to play matches of the ICC Women’s Championship and Pakistan team’s participation will help PCB know that how serious the Indian Board is to resume bilateral cricket ties with Pakistan.