World cricket stars are expected to head to Doha next year to compete in the first edition of the Pakistan Twenty20 cricket Super League, after Qatar agreed to host the tournament, Pakistan’s Cricket Board has announced.
The franchised tournament will be played in February 2016 at the Asian Town (previously known as West End Park) international cricket stadium in the Industrial Area, which is likely to have to undergo modifications to make it suitable.
From Feb. 4-24, five teams will play 24 matches, competing for up to $1 million in prize money, the PCB said.
Najam Sethi, chairman of the PCB’s executive committee, announced the deal in a press conference in Lahore yesterday.
The PCB has for some years been trying to set up a T20 league, but the launch has been postponed twice due to sponsorship and other issues.
The league was originally going to be hosted by the UAE, which is where Pakistan has played all of its international matches since a terrorist attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan team in 2009.
However, when the PCB attempted to confirm venues with the Emirates Cricket Board earlier this summer, they discovered that the stadiums had already been booked for the February slot for the Masters Champions League, a tournament for retired cricketers, ESPN cricinfo reports.
Rather than again delaying the launch of the league until April, when players may not be available, Sethi said Doha was chosen to host the tournament.
“The wait is now over and we are here to tell you of our intent to stage the PSL. The way we see it, PSL is not just about cricket. It is a unique blend of entertainment and cricket which will be the most exciting Pakistani product,” Sethi said.
What is Twenty20?
T20 cricket is a short form of the game, where two teams have a single innings each up to a maximum of 20 overs.
With the average match lasting up to three hours rather than over several days as in Test cricket, it is a faster-paced game which has been developed to help attract more spectators to grounds and to boost TV viewing figures.
In addition to international tournaments, a number of countries have national T20 leagues.
Pakistan previously had the Haier T20 league, involving 18 franchised member clubs.
It will be replaced with the Super League, which will be created by city-based franchises and is expected to include teams from Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad and Karachi.
It is likely Pakistan hopes it can eventually build a league to rival the Indian Premier League, the world’s most watched T20 league with an estimated brand value of $7.2 billion.
Explaining how the new Pakistan league will work, Sethi said:
“We are starting with 5 teams in order to build the value of our franchises and we will expand the number of teams in the coming editions.”
While the signing of the players has yet to be confirmed, cricketers from across the world are expected to feature in the tournament lineup, alongside those from Pakistan.
Top foreign players from all Test-playing nations except India have expressed interest in taking part in the PSL, with initial consent shown from more than 40 international players, Sethi added.
Four West Indians and two players each from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa are among the names the PCB would like to lure. Around 25 are expected to sign up to the league, 15 of whom will be “world class players” Gulf Times reports Sethi as saying.
Talks are already underway with potential sponsors and franchise owners and broadcasters have shown “great interest” in the tournament, the PCB official added.
The formal launch of the PSL is expected to take place in Lahore late next month, and rights for broadcast, sponsorship and franchise ownership will be sold over the coming three months.
Qatar Cricket Association has welcomed the deal. “We are yet to finalize the details about the agreement to host the tournament and we hope this will be done soon,” QCA official Gul Khan told Gulf Times.
With Qatar home to hundreds of thousands of people from cricket-loving nations such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India, the tournament is expected to draw decent crowds from home in addition to fans traveling from elsewhere in the region to watch the matches.
However, unlike other T20 tournaments which are played around a number of venues and cities, Qatar only has one stadium and all the matches will be played there.
The Asian Town ground, which was opened in 2013 and has a capacity of around 13,000, last summer hosted two smaller T20 tournaments for Qatar-based clubs.
Previously, Asian Cricket Council official Bandula Warnapura reportedly described the stadium as “one of the best I have seen in this region” and said it was a contender to hold international matches.
Will you go to the matches? Thoughts?
To make this league a grand success and to pull the crowd to the ground the organizer should include at least one cricketer in every league from NEPAL. This will pull the cricket crazy Nepalese to ground. There are approx four hundred thousand Nepalese expat here in Qatar.
True..west end park stadium is surrounded by labour camps..and most of the viewers will be Nepali labourers. Hats off to PCB..great venue selection
That’s not a bad idea
I look forward to this, should be a good event. With Pakistan being a failed country and extremely dangerous for visitors, an event in Qatar makes sense. Kudos for Qatar for offering to host this tournament.
I’m still a bit dubious about Asian Town, can’t they renamed it to something that doesn’t sound discriminatory and racist.
Yeah I was thinking the same. Not sure which brainbox came up with the new name. Sure West End Park didn’t fit it at all – but at least it wasn’t racist.
Dear MIMH in your words Asian reflecting some kind of discriminatory but maintaining Pakistan as a failure country is not discrimination. The Situation in Pakistan is the result of US efforts to bring Peace . Please don’t use such words if you don’t have any idea about the real situation. TheNews is related to cricket so please focus to cricket with your Valuable knowledge.
Yes the news is related to cricket and why Pakistan cannot hold its own tournament in its own country
Pakistan is dangerous not only for foreigners but also Pakistanis. You can blame others all you like but Pakistan is because it is because of Pakistan.
Hence England are playing Pakistan in UAE as its too dangerous in the failed state.
If it was paradise thousands of Pakistanis would not be trying to enter Europe illegally or desperately trying to get to the gulf.
Rightttt.. i spend my whole trip to Pakistan avoiding bullets like women in india spend each moment avoiding rape.
Tell that to the Sri Lankan cricket team that got machine gunned or benazir Bhutto murdered or the school children gunned down in their classroom or well it just goes on and on. So much so Pakistan can’t play cricket at home and have to find other countries to play a sport.
Also tell that to the TV host that was killed in US and the thousands who were gunned down attending schools, watching movies in theatres, in universities, in shops or on the roadside. I am sure according to your genius logic, US would also be a failed country.
American society is certainly broken, more gun murders since 1945 than a the deaths in the wars they have taken place in since that time. Plus if you are black the police seem to get a free hand to shoot you.
There are certainly many places in the U.S. I wouldn’t want to walk through. It’s utter madness but yet they so nothing.
You have china town in so many countries. People dont call that racist. Whats with asian town? You even have arab street in singapore as well as little India.
Those are named purposely because they are themed in that way. This by no means is officially an “Asian” place. It is an international cricket stadium that has hosted matches with teams outside of Asia.
IPL was also hosted outside of few years ago. Does hat mean India was failed country too? and what are you always doing on DN? don’t you have a baqala to run or make karak?
Good Luck with that hahahhahaha!!!!!
So you replied to your own comment with more hahahahahaha. Such a genius you are.
Looks like some ‘labourers’ are going to be forced on a bus on their day off, driven to the oval and made to pretend they like it all for the glory of Qatar.
Have you ever been to a cricket match there? When I went last year it was in danger of overcrowding! No busses required, the labourers were already there by choice…
How about forming a new government ?
And how about reducing carbon emissions, bringing peace in the world, ending global poverty, makinf the world free of all diseases and some other unrelated nonsense.
How about not using all your money to increase your nuclear arsnel but instead give back to the people who are dying of starvation.
How about building toilets in your country for your people so that people dont defecate in public? How about providing better food distribution so that people dont die of malnutrition? How about reducing poverty so that 40% of the population doesnt need to be in dire straits rather than building a nuclear arsenal?
All those situations you mentioned are applicable in Porkistan and at a much severe level than in India.
^ hey buddy, its time now for you to eat your idli sambhar and get lost in the toilet!!! hahaha
Sounds like a very desperate move!
It sad to see Indians spilling hatred against Pakistan under different identities (Like they always do). Specially those who don’t have anything else to do except posting here all the time.
It isn’t so difficult to treat this as a good show coming up in qatar.