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Pakistan Shifts Twenty20 League to U.A.E. from Doha

by AFP
Arif Ali—AFP

Arif Ali—AFP

PCB gives no reason for the venue change.

Pakistan on Thursday announced it was moving its twice-postponed Twenty20 league from the Qatari capital of Doha to Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, without giving any reason for the venue change.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said the Pakistan Super League (PSL) would be held from Feb. 4 to 24, 2016, in Dubai and Sharjah, U.A.E.

“The PSL will have a total of 24 matches which will be played over a 21-day period,” said a PCB release, apparently shifting the event from Doha due to a lack of facilities in the Qatari capital.

The PCB had planned the Twenty20 league in 2013 but had to postpone it twice—in 2014 and 2015—over a lack of response from sponsors and logistics problems but this time they are more confident of staging the event.

“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,” the release said. “Franchise owners will be inducted between mid to end November after which the foreign and local players will be drafted and teams constituted,” said Najam Sethi, chairman of the governing council of the PSL.

PCB claims that some of the big names who have consented to play in the PSL include former England star Kevin Pietersen, master blaster Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo (all from the West Indies), Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hassan and Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews.

Five teams—Quetta, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, and Islamabad—will be vying for glory in the first edition of PSL. The players will be selected through a draft process in December.

“There is a pool of top coaches also from which franchise owners will be able to pick and chose,” said Sethi. “PSL will offer up to $1 million in prize money while each franchise will be able to draft players and coaches for the team within a budget of $1 million,” said PCB.

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