Top international stars from around the world, barring India, are set to participate in the inaugural Pakistan Super League, which will be played in Doha from February 4-24 next year. The competition had been the subject of discussion for some time, but the organisers were not able to finalise the venue for the mega T20 event, until now.
Initially, PCB were eager to host the Pakistan Super League in the UAE, but they received a huge setback when the Emirates Board brought to the notice of the organisers that another T20 competition comprising retired cricketers – Masters Champions League – had already booked the venues.
The PCB could have delayed the Pakistan Super League in order to host the event in the UAE, but with the availability of players being a major obstacle for future dates, they were forced to look at alternative venues.
The organisers zeroed in on Doha as the preferred destination for, after discussing it with various stakeholders.
"After extensive negotiations with various stakeholders, the Pakistan Super League governing council has decided to lock Doha as its preferred location for the tournament," PCB executive committee head Nijam Sethi said.
The tournament, which has been slated for next year, will comprise five teams in the first edition, but the number is expected to increase in future editions of the Pakistan Super League.
"The five-team tournament will take place in February next year with a total of 24 matches scheduled to take place in the first edition. We are starting with five teams in order to build the value of our franchises and will expand the number of teams in the coming editions."
One can expect quite a few top cricketers to play in the Pakistan Super League, as around 40 players have already agreed to participate in the T20 event.
"Top foreign players from all Test-playing nations except India have expressed interest in signing up for the PSL," Sethi said.
"As of now, the PSL team has consent from over 40 international players. In addition, top foreign coaches are also being roped in for the first edition of the PSL. The tournament will carry collective prize money of up to $1million."