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Pakistan Super League

PSL 2020 to be hosted in Pakistan

The owners of the six Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises jointly with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have agreed to hold the next season of the competition in its entirety in the country.

Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Rawalpindi have been initially selected as the four venues to conduct the tournament comprising of 34 games.

While matters will undergo further deliberation in the upcoming meetings amongst the top-tier management, Peshawar Zalmi chairman Javed Afridi revealed to Cricingif he hopes to have at least three matches in Peshawar.

This statement was made after former PSL title-holders Zalmi emerged as Pakistan's biggest sports entity for the fourth successive time with their brand value being evaluated by Nielsen at 40.5 million USD.

According to early reports, Lahore, Karachi, Multan and Rawalpindi are scheduled to host 13, 9, 8 and 4 games respectively.

The final of PSL 2020 will take place in Lahore while the tournament will kick off with a grand opening ceremony in Karachi.

The developments came forth in the aftermath of an informal meeting between PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and the six team owners who discussed the complexities involved in getting foreign players to play in Pakistan.

Although tours of West Indies, Sri Lanka and a World XI contingent to Pakistan in recent years have seen several high-profile players play in the country, concerns still remain over the viability of hosting a full tournament.

Last year, eight matches were staged in Karachi including the PSL finale that featured the likes of Shane Watson, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, restoring faith in the security facilities provided by the PCB.

International cricket came to a halt in Pakistan after the horrific terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 before Zimbabwe became the first touring side in six years when they visited to compete in two T20Is and three ODIs.

The other major hurdle for the PCB is upgrading the existing sporting infrastructure of the stadiums in order to allow them to host PSL games.

Multan last hosted an international match in 2008 while the stadium in Rawalpindi is in the process of renovation to prepare it in time for the fifth edition of Pakistan's premier domestic T20 tournament.

Quetta Gladiators currently hold the PSL trophy, having defeated eventual runners-up Peshawar Zalmi in a one-sided contest in March.

#Pakistan