UAE confirmed as venue for Pakistan Super League


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday confirmed UAE as the host for the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), ending weeks of uncertainty over the venue of the Twenty20 tournament.

The PSL, a Twenty20 league along the same lines as the IPL and Big Bash, will be held from February 4-24, 2016, in Dubai and Sharjah with a total of 24 matches deciding the winners of the tournament, the PCB announced in a press release.

“The PSL has already floated tenders for broadcasters and producers. This will be followed by a tendering process for sponsorships in the second week of October. Franchise owners will be inducted between mid to end November after which the foreign and local players will be drafted and teams constituted,” Najam Sethi, Chairman of the Governing Council of the PSL, said.

“There is a pool of top coaches also from which franchise owners will be able to pick and chose,” added Sethi.

The change of venue from Qatar to UAE comes after meetings of top officials of the PCB and the UAE board.

In August this year, Sethi had officially announced Qatar as the venue after scheduling conflict meant grounds in the UAE were not available early next year.

A Twenty20 league has been in the works since 2013 but the Pakistan Cricket Board has had to postpone it twice  in 2014 and 2015 — over what it said was lack of response from sponsors and logistics issues.

In an interview, Sethi revealed that the PCB was ‘currently engaged with around 10-15 parties’ as commercial partners.

Swashbuckling West Indian batsman Chris Gayle and England’s Kevin Pietersen, last week, became the latest high-profile cricketers to have agreed to be part of the PSL, joining a host of international stars in talks with the PCB.

The 35-year-old Gayle, who is a major attraction in Twenty20 leagues in India, Australia and England, is the sixth player from West Indies to have joined the ranks of potential signings after teammates Keiron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Dwyane Smith, Samuel Badree were revealed as the first big-name players to come aboard the PSL.