PCB considering Qatar as alternative to UAE for hosting domestic T20 league
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formally approached Qatar in a bid to convince them to host Pakistan’s domestic T20 league in Doha in February 2016, ESPNCricinfo reports. The move follows indication by the Emirates Cricket Board that UAE will be hosting the Masters Champion League (MCL) during the same time.
It is understood that a formal application is being sent to the Qatar Olympic Association to upgrade the one and only cricket stadium in the country.
UAE has been hosting Pakistan’s ‘home’ matches since 2009, after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus while on their tour to Pakistan had led to international teams refusing to tour the strife-torn country. PCB were hopeful that UAE would be willing to let at least one of the three venues in the country for staging the matches.
MCL schedule clashing with planned league
The MCL, boasting the likes of Brian Lara, Adam Gilchrist and Wasim Akram as icon players, had already booked the three venues for the February window and negotiations between Zafar Shah, the chairman of the MCL, and the PCB to accommodate both the leagues failed as the dates could not be agreed upon.
The PCB first floated the idea of their own domestic league way back in 2010, but various issues have meant that the league is yet to bear fruition. Issues between the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and executive committee head Najam Sethi have been sorted out now though and the board is intent on holding the event this year.
The report also suggests that the PCB will be looking at a long-term association with Qatar as they see Doha as a potential venue to host their Under-19 women's games in the long run. It is likely the PCB will wait another month before going forward with Doha as the alternative venue for the inaugural version of the league.