LAHORE: The reigning champions Karachi Kings will face Quetta Gladiators in the opening fixture of Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 at the National Stadium in Karachi on February 20, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Friday.
Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium and Karachi’s National Stadium are the only two venues to host PSL’s sixth edition slated to have 34 matches to ensure health and safety of all participants amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The final of the 30-day tournament will be played on March 22 at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. For the first time since 2017, the final of the event will be played in Lahore.
The first phase of the event will be played at the National Stadium and the second at the Gaddafi Stadium. Day and night matches have been distributed among all the teams equally.
Any decision regarding the arrival of spectators will be taken a few days before the event, and the government’s recommendations in this regard will be taken into account.
The sporting period of HBL Pakistan Super League 2021 will start from February 15. For foreign players participating in the league, the result of a test for corona virus must be negative before arriving in Karachi.
Upon their arrival in Pakistan, they will undergo two more tests, after which they will be allowed to start training.
Those who test positive will be sent to isolation for five days. During this time, two more tests for the coronavirus will be performed, the first on the first day of isolation and the second on the fourth.
Babar Hamid, Director Commercial said: “We are delighted to announce the schedule of our marquee event – the HBL Pakistan Super League, which for the second successive season will be held in Pakistan in its entirety.
“We had to make the tough decision to limit matches to Karachi and Lahore, and this decision has been taken in the larger interest of the event, participants and the country. We want to limit the unnecessary exposure of the players as much as practically possible so that the players can operate in a safe and healthy environment that, in turn, will allow them to continue to entertain the fans and followers with their talent, skills and gamesmanship.
“The crowds in Multan and Rawalpindi were awesome last year and we owe a big thanks to them for their contribution in making the HBL PSL 2020 a resounding success. I am sure when life returns to normal, the two cities will get their share of matches as the PCB remains committed and determined to stage matches of the HBL PSL at as many venues as possible.
“Apart from the competitors, the PCB also has a duty of care towards the spectators. Although we have a couple of options on the table, the PCB will continue to monitor the situation and delay the decision as late as possible on crowd attendances as for the PCB, health and lives are of utmost importance.”
Event schedule (Day matches to start at 2pm; night matches to start at 7pm; Friday’s double-headers to start at 3pm and 8pm, respectively):
Sat, 20 Feb - Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators (N), NSK Karachi
Sun, 21 Feb - Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi (D); Islamabad United v Multan Sultans (N); both matches at NSK
Mon, 22 Feb - Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators (N), NSK
Tue, 23 Feb - Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans (N), NSK
Wed, 24 Feb - Karachi Kings v Islamabad United (N), NSK
Fri, 26 Feb - Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans (D); Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators (N); both matches at NSK
Sat, 27 Feb - Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans (D); Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United (N); both matches at NSK
Sun, Feb 28 - Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars (N); NSK
Mon, 1 Mar - Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators (N); NSK
Wed, 3 Mar - Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi (D); Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans (N); both matches at NSK
Thu, 4 Mar - Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United (N); NSK
Fri, 5 Mar - Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings (N); NSK
Sat, 6 Mar - Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators (D); Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars (N); NSK
Sun, 7 Mar - Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators (D); Islamabad United v Karachi Kings (N); NSK
Wed, 10 Mar - Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings (N); GSL, Lahore
Thu, 11 Mar - Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars (N); GSL
Fri, 12 Mar - Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi (D); Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars (N); both matches at GSL
Sat 13 Mar - Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings (D); Multan Sultans v Islamabad United (N); both matches at GSL
Sun, 14 Mar - Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi (D); Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings (N); both matches at GSL
Mon, 15 Mar - Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi (N); GSL
Tue, 16 Mar - Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars (N); GSL
Thu, 18 Mar - Qualifier (1 v 2) (N); GSL
Fri, 19 Mar - Eliminator 1 (3 v 4) (N); GSL
Sat, Mar 20 - Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier v winner Eliminator 1) (N); GSL
Mon, 22 Mar - Final (N), GSL.
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