The Pakistan Cricket Board, in its latest move, has revealed plans to shift eight games of the Pakistan Super league Season 4 to home venues.
PCB has said that eight matches will be held at home during the next edition (2019) of its franchisee-based T20 league. However, United Arab Emirates will continue to be the main venue for the event despite concerns over competition with other tournaments in the region.
The attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus by gunmen in Lahore in March 2009 has forced Pakistan to play the majority of its ‘home’ series in the UAE, but the PCB is stepping up its efforts to slowly reintroduce its events to Pakistan. Staging of the PSL games Lahore and Karachi earlier this year has given a boost to the PCB plans to host international teams in the country.
A PSL governing council meeting has now expressed “full confidence” in the PCB’s attempts to bring more PSL matches to Pakistan, deciding that at least eight matches will be held in the country next year.
Earlier this month, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had revealed plans for a new Twenty20 league which it claims will be the most innovative and inclusive in the world. With a 10-year sanctioning agreement for the venture by the International Cricket Council (ICC), ECB has said that the new tournament will make its debut in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah with five new franchise teams vying for the inaugural title in a 22-match format over 24 days in December and January.
ECB further said that six ICC full member nations – England, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, New Zealand and the West Indies – have supported the project. PCB, which was concerned by the potential fixture clash, was notably absent from the list of ECB’s T20 league supporters.
However, other media reports have suggested that PCB has reached a deal with the ECB and retained the UAE as the venue for its ‘home’ season. The ECB will reportedly avoid scheduling other tournaments with Pakistan’s home series, and agreed to keep the PSL as the exclusive cricket event held in the UAE during this period.
“Eventually the whole PSL will come back to Pakistan one day, but at this stage it’s not feasible. With every passing year, things are improving and, from the first to the third edition, we have continued to have more games in Pakistan. Next year eight or more games will come to Pakistan,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Lahore and Karachi have again been confirmed as two venues for the eight PSL matches in Pakistan, with a third yet to be decided on.