The second edition of the month-long Pakistan Super League (PSL) is scheduled to being on February 9. All the matches between the five teams will be held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah while the finals will be held at the Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore on March 7.
The first edition of the T20 league had proved to be a worthwhile exercise for Pakistan after it reported $2.6 million in profit from the league.
Five teams – Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars, Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings are the team which will be part of the action.
Darren Sammy will lead Peshawar Zalmi who will take on Islamabad United in the first game of the tournament. Misbah-ul-Haq will lead the defending champions Islamabad United yet again while Shahid Afridi handed over the captaincy of Peshawar Zalmi to Darren Sammy. Sarfaraz Ahmed will look to guide the Quetta Gladiators, while Sangakkara leads the Karachi Kings. Lahore Qalandars will be captained by Brendon McCullum.
Each side will be involved in a double-leg round-robin league, ending up playing eight matches each. The top four teams will qualify for the playoffs.
Apart from Kevin Pietersen, several notable players include the likes of Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Brendon McCullum had also agreed to getting themselves placed in the draft and were picked up by respective teams during the draft, while Chris Gayle was let go of by Lahore and selected by Karachi. Alex Hales and Anton Devcich got a nod as supplementary players.
Several cricketers have been reluctant to play in Pakistan after a 2009 shootout at the Sri Lankan team bus. Barring a brief visit by Zimbabwe in 2015, there has been no international cricket in the country since then. With no teams visiting the country and no matches being held, Pakistan Cricket Board desperately needs funds to run the sport in the country.