Qatar confirmed as hosts for Pakistan T20 league
The inaugural edition of Pakistan's T20 league will feature 24 matches involving the five teams from Pakistan's provincial capitals and will be held in Doha from February 4 to 24 next year.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that the country’s domestic T20 league competition will be held in Doha, ESPNCricinfo reports. The tournament will be a five-team affair featuring franchises from Pakistan’s provincial capitals – Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad – and will be held from February 4 to 24 next year.
UAE has been hosting Pakistan’s ‘home’ matches since 2009 and the PCB were hopeful that Pakistan’s T20 league can also be conducted there. But reports emerged earlier in the month that they were considering Qatar as an alternative venue, as the UAE had given dates to the Masters Champions League which is set to take place around the same period.
Najam Sethi, the PCB executive committee head, has now confirmed that the T20 league will indeed be held in Qatar’s capital city.
After extensive negotiations with various stakeholders, the Pakistan Super League governing council has decided to lock Doha as its preferred location for the tournament," Sethi said in Lahore. "The five-team tournament will take place in February next year with a total of 24 matches scheduled to take place in the first edition.”
Sethi was confident that the competition’s debut season, which has been in the pipeline since 2009, will be an outstanding success.
"Top foreign players from all Test-playing nations except India have expressed interest in signing up for the PSL," Sethi said. "As of now, the PSL team has consent from over 40 international players. In addition, top foreign coaches are also being roped in for the first edition of the PSL. The tournament will carry collective prize money of up to $ 1 million."
Sethi also confirmed that the PCB will look at expanding the league further based on the reception that the tournament receives from the audience in Qatar as well as back home in Pakistan.
“We are starting with five teams in order to build the value of our franchises and will expand the number of teams in the coming editions,” he said.