The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the schedule of the next season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), and the action is set to begin on February 17. The opening match will be between defending champions Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United at PCB’s headquarters, the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
The tournament will be played in two legs. The first leg will be hosted by the stadiums in Lahore and Multan, where 14 games will take place between February 17 and 27. The next one will be played between February 28 and March 12 at the National Stadium in Karachi and Rawalpindi, and both the prominent cricket centres of Pakistan will get to host 16 games in that period.
Meanwhile, Karachi will host all the playoff games and the final of the PSL.
“We are thrilled to announce that the HBL Pakistan Super League's ninth edition is set to kick off on February 17, showcasing the best of T20 cricket in four cities across Pakistan.” PCB Chairman Zak’s Ashraf said in the press statement regarding the scheduled release.
“The decision to host the marquee event across these cities is a testament to our commitment to bring top-notch cricket to fans across the country. We believe that hosting matches in these venues adds to the excitement for fans and promotes cricket at the grassroots level, " the PCB chairman added.
It’s also worth noting that the opening game of the PSL is clashing with the final of the ILT20 tournament, which is scheduled for the same day (February 17). This jeopardises the availability of as many as five Pakistani players, including the T20 skipper Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Azam Khan, and Mohammad Amir.
The franchises in both leagues would want these premier players available for their clashes, and this has created a scheduling issue in a packed calendar for T20 leagues before the Indian Premier League.
🚨 Squads announced for National Women's T20 Tournament set to commence on 15 January 🏏— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) January 12, 2024
Which team are you backing to win the tournament❓
More details ➡️ https://t.co/fesitlEK7k#NWT20 | #BackOurGirls pic.twitter.com/4bQUM3AoZU
Along with the PSL announcement, the PCB also announced the National Women’s T20 Tournament, which will start on January 15 and feature six regional teams from Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta and Rawalpindi. The final for the tournament is scheduled for January 31.
Each team in the tournament will play 10 games, and games played at the Shoaib Akhtar Stadium will be broadcast live on PCB’s YouTube channel.