LAHORE: The Pakistan Super League’s Governing Council in a meeting on Tuesday had raised doubts about Multan being a possible venue for the PSL matches next year because the city perhaps lacked proper accommodation and other facilities.
However, to show some efforts on its part, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has nominated a two-member committee comprising Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad and another official Khayam Qaiser who will be visiting Multan and Muzaffarabad shortly to find out if suitable accommodation is available in these two cities.
It is, indeed, surprising to note how PCB has ignored a major fact that it has already organized at least seven One-day Internationals and five Test matches at the Multan Stadium during the past against high-profile teams including India, England, South Africa, the West Indies besides Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since the inauguration of the stadium back in year 2000.
PCB committee to visit the city shortly
It may also be mentioned here that most of the international matches were held in Multan after the deadly terrorist attack of 9/11 in New York and security was high alert in the region.
According to a report, at least ten top-class hotels are available in Multan where accommodation rates range from from Rs 10,000 to Rs22,000 per day and offering every facility.
If the PCB seriously considers Multan as third venue of the PSL, it could easily hold the entire PSL in Pakistan next year. If Dubai and Sharjah alone could host nearly 30 matches of the PSL in the last edition, there is no reason why Lahore, Karachi and Multan cannot host the entire PSL matches between them.
It may be mentioned here that due to high cost of the accommodation and other facilities in the UAE, nearly all the six PSL franchises are not interested to playing the matches in the UAE. They believe that in Pakistan, big crowd are expected at major cities which could make the PSL a much more successful brand beside opening opportunities for more business within the country.
However, an official from a PSL franchise disclosed that though PCB Chairman Najam Sethi is willing to hold all the PSL matches in Pakistan, his close subordinates have other plans. “The PCB officials feel it will be a very hectic job to conduct all PSL matches in Pakistan as compared to holding them in the UAE,” he said.
“Many of the PCB officials are obviously enjoying the foreign trip and charging a handsome daily allowances in US Dollars. Furthermore, they are also free from all kind of pressures of making elaborate security arrangements and todistribution of tickets here in Pakistan,” the official added.
“The presence of foreign players in the country for a longer period of nearly a month may be another fear factor for the PCB in hosting the entire PSL in Pakistan. But it is the responsibility of the franchises to bring the players and look after them, a job they have done admirably in the recent past,” the official said.
Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2018