The Pakistan Super League T20 is finally on and with the Habib Bank Limited being announced the title sponsors for the first 3 years of the league, it sure sounds like it is here to stay! PSL 2016 tickets go on sale worldwide.
The HBL PSL is the premier professional T20 cricket league in Pakistan which has been in the pipeline for years now, which is why there’s so much anticipation around it. The trophy will be awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.
After years of battling security concerns and inner hassles, the authorities have lined up a set of spectacular contests. The matches will be held, 24 in all, from February 4-24, 2016 just before the World T20.
The authorities have intelligently chosen February as it doesn’t hold any other T20 event in the main. Every step is being taken to ensure smooth transactions of PSL tickets; sale of merchandise, building up of brand equity and smoothing the broadcasting rights.
The inaugural edition of the PSL Pakistan Super League 2016 will see five teams participating in it with each team representing a city. However, plans are in place for an expansion of the PSL to be a 10-team league within the next five years (do let us know how many teams would you like!)
The league will be played in place of the existing Haier T20 Cup and is expected to draw highly skilled players from all over the world, and currently has players signed from approximately 10 different countries. Pakistani players, obviously, will constitute the majority of the players in the league.
80 players including 25 graded international players will make their presence felt in the tournament that promises $1, 00, 000 to the winning team. It also promises plenty of excitement as teams from Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Lahore take part in the PSL.
Of course, what takes priority is the level of cricket played. Given that each team is allowed a maximum of 16 players, 80 players will participate in the PSL, of which 55 will be local players while the other 25 will be internationals. Quality international coaches have been roped to manage the five teams with precision and bite.
Former Pakistan captains Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja have been roped in as brand ambassadors of the tournament for the next three years. The likes of Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Shane Watson, Shahid Afridi, Dwayne Bravo, Kumar Sangakkara and Angelo Mathews among others have all given their names for the PSL Draft which will take place later in the year.
The league will use a draft system – similar to the National Football League in the United States for player recruitment as opposed to the auction system which is used in other popular T20 leagues across the world.
The Pakistan t20 league will not be played in Pakistan but instead will be based out of UAE. All matches would be played at two grounds – Dubai and Sharjah cricket stadiums which was confirmed by the PCB in September 2015. Earlier there were plans for the tournament to be played in Doha but that was changed back to UAE where the tournament will be played now.
The cricketing fans are all eagerly awaiting the kick-off and planning their sojourns in advance. This should be a cracker of a tournament to behold and you can get all the information for it in the days to come on this site.