The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy is the premier domestic First Class competition in Pakistan. The competition began way back in 1953/54 primarily to feed local players to the national selectors. It has been conducted annually since then except for five years in between.
A combination of regional teams and departmental teams used to compete in the tournament in the previous editions. However, the competition is played by six new regional teams from the last 2020 edition - Central Punjab, Southern Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northern and Sindh.
The 64th edition of the tournament will be played from 20 October to 29 December 2021.
The trophy has been named after the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah was also known as Quaid-e-Azam or the ‘Great Leader’. The inaugural season in 1953/54 was set up in order to inject players into the Pakistan cricket squad for their Test tour to England in 1954.
The tournament consisted of 7 teams and played a knockout stage first up. The formats and teams have kept changing over the years, but it remains the primary tournament in the country of Pakistan for First Class cricket.
All 6 participating teams will play two matches against every other team in the tournament from 20 October 2021 to 29 December 2021. A total of 30 matches will be contested in the league stage with all being 4-day games.
The top two teams on the points table at the end of the league stage will play the Final starting from 25 December 2021. The Final can be stretched to the fifth day if required to produce a result. If a result is not obtained even after the fifth day but both teams have finished their first innings, the team with more runs in their first essay of the match will be declared the winner. If the first innings of both teams are not completed, both teams will be declared as joint-winners of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021.
The PTV Sports channel in Pakistan will stream the tournament live.
The entirety of the competition in 2021 will be played in Faisalabad, Multan, Lahore and Karachi. Seven venues - United Bank Limited Sports Complex, National Stadium, SBP Sports Complex, Gaddafi Stadium, Iqbal Stadium, Multan Cricket Stadium and the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex will host a game each in all of the 10 rounds in the league stage. The Final will be played at the National Stadium.
The teams in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2021 will not have their full-strength squads for the entire season as T20 World Cup 2021 will start from 23 October to 14 November 2021 in UAE .
However, the players will be available to play the rest of the tournament. The stars in attendance will be Yasir Shah, Bismillah Khan, Azhar Ali, Ashfaq Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Sharjeel Khan, Shan Masood and Hussain Talat to name a few.