Lahore (Pakistan) – Pakistan on Wednesday announced it will host a twice-postponed Twenty20 league in Doha, Qatar, next year.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had planned a Super Twenty20 league in 2013 but had to postpone it twice — in 2014 and 2015 — over a lack of response from sponsors and logistics problems.
Najam Sethi, former chairman of the PCB, announced the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be held from 4-24 February next year.
“The PSL will be held in Doha from February 4-24 with a prize money of one million dollars (100 million rupees) and we are getting encouraging responses from sponsors and foreign players,” said Sethi, who is now chairman of the PCB’s executive committee.
The idea behind staging the league was to give Pakistani players a chance to compete with and against top foreign players, something which the national players do not get as international cricket has been suspended in the country since 2009.
Pakistan was a no go area for international teams since terrorists’ attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
This was partially overcome with a short limited-over series against Zimbabwe in May-June this year.
“We are in talks with 40 foreign players and we expect some 25 to sign for the league and out of these 15 will be world class players,” Sethi said of the planned league.
Four West Indians and two players each from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa were amongst the targeted names, he said.
Sethi added that no player from India was on the PSL target list as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does not allow its players to feature in a foreign league.
Pakistan was forced to shift the League to Doha after grounds in the United Arab Emirates — where Pakistan have played all their home cricket since 2009 — were booked for a private league in January-February 2016.