PCB hopes to host PSL ‘fully in Pakistan’ next year

PCB, which is also planning to shift its second home ground from the UAE to Malaysia, is confident that with international teams and players agreeing to tour the country, big ticket cricket series would soon return to Pakistan.

Darren Sammy (centre) dances with Pakistani players before the commencement of the Pakistan Super League final, at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in 2017. This year as the PSL gets ready for its third edition, Lahore will be hosting two of the knockout games, followed by the final in Karachi.   -  AP

The terror attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009 had left a deep scar on Pakistan cricket. With the teams refusing to tour the country, international cricket had come to a halt forcing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to shift its home venue to the United Arab Emirates.

While that move helped Pakistan maintain its international commitments, the fans and the local cricketers had nothing to look forward to.

Though after seven years, Zimbabwe toured Pakistan in 2016, it failed to create much buzz. Even the first edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was held in the UAE.

Read: PCB chief still hopeful of India-Pakistan bilateral series

But things changed last year, when the final of the second edition of the PSL was held in Lahore. With fans showing huge support, the final was a huge success and taking cue from that, even the ICC World XI played an exhibition series against Pakistan last year.

This year as the PSL gets ready for its third edition, Lahore will be hosting two of the knockout games, followed by the final in Karachi.

Talking to Sportstar on Saturday, PCB chairman, Najam Sethi, admitted that the Board is now planning to host the entire PSL in Pakistan next year. “Hopefully, we can shift the PSL fully to Pakistan next year. That will pave the way for a full series in Pakistan by a top team,” Sethi said.

Pakistani fans in a jubilant mood at the PSL final last year.   -  AP

 

The seasoned administrator also confirmed that after this year’s PSL, the West Indies will play a three-match T20 series in Pakistan, starting from March 29. “The PSL will be followed by three T20s in Lahore by the West Indies. I hope to attract other teams to Pakistan in the next year or so,” Sethi added.

PCB, which is also planning to shift its second home ground from the UAE to Malaysia, is confident that with international teams and players agreeing to tour the country, big ticket cricket series would soon return to Pakistan.