LAHORE: The Pakistan Super League (PSL) continues to tread a topsy turvy path. In the latest development, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to relocate the high-profile league to UAE from Doha — just a few months before its scheduled commencement on Feb 4, 2015.

A formal announcement in this regard is to be made in the PSL’s logo-unveiling ceremony scheduled to be held at the Expo Centre here on Sunday.

According to reports, the change has come about since the PCB has finally been able to reach a consent with the organizers of the Masters Champions League over the issue of dates since the former also wanted to hold their event in the UAE at the same time.

Owing to the dispute with Masters League, the PCB were compelled to shift the league to Doha.

However, now when the PCB has had successful negotiations with the authorities of the Masters League, the PSL has been fially relocated to the UAE which has provided regular off-shore venues to Pakistan since the ghastly attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009.

It may be mentioned here that despite announcing Doha as the venue for PSL, the PCB remained on tenterhooks about its success due to lack of international standard infrastructure for the game and no practice grounds available for the teams which are essential for such mega events.

PSL chairman Najam Sethi recently toured Qatar and the UAE after which the reports emerged that the Masters Champions League is most likely to be deferred for some time.

“Now the real challenge for the PCB is to do excellent marketing for the PSL to raise enough funds that could help a befitting launch of the league and then at least break even to convince the investors for continued financial support,” a PCB official said on condition of anonymity.

“Also, the PCB will have to incur heavier costs of holding matches in the UAE since grounds in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are much more expensive to hire compared to the venues in Qatar.”

A good number of prominent international T20 players, including Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga, have expressed their desire to play in the cash-rich league.

It may be mentioned here that the PCB is yet to disclose the estimated budget for the PSL.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2015

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