Stakeholders agree to defer decision on staging PSL’s backend ties

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Both semi-finals and final were postponed during the middle of March for an indefinite period. — AP/File
Both semi-finals and final were postponed during the middle of March for an indefinite period. — AP/File

LAHORE: The Pakistan Super League Governing Council on Thursday unanimously agreed to defer the decision of holding remaining four matches of season five until September.

The matches — both semi-finals and final — were postponed during the middle of March for an indefinite period due to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

A short-worded Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) media release — following a four-hour virtual meeting — said: “The franchises and the PCB reiterated their most preferred option remained the staging of the remaining four matches of HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 in November. Having expressed that optimism, they acknowledged there were a number of moving pieces due to the Covid-19 pandemic and agreed to continue to review and monitor the situation internally before making recommendations to the Governing Council.”

However, the council failed to reach any conclusion over the franchises’ demands of extending their 10-year period association with the PSL to 15 years and to fix the rate for the franchises. It has been decided that based on an ongoing review of the league, the six franchises and PCB agreed a framework for greater collaboration to ensure the long-term growth of the PSL and to create financial sustainability.

It is learnt that both the PCB and the franchises agreed to hold matches of PSL’s next edition on home and away basis, while it was also resolved that all fixtures would be entirely staged in the country for the second straight year.

One of the franchise owners, meanwhile, expressed concern over financial losses he has been suffering since the first edition and said that he would not be a buyer if any other team was put on sale.

The press release further stated: “The Governing Council appreciated the PCB for setting up an independent Pakistan Super League department, which will be headed by PSL Project Executive Shoaib Naveed. The franchises and PCB agreed to a framework of regular contact between the teams and the PSL Department, aiming to increase consultative dialogue on various operational and strategic matters relating to the league.”

Addressing the meeting via video link, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani remarked: “It was an engaging and interesting Governing Council meeting with common interest being the wellbeing and future of the HBL Pakistan Super League. Of course, the future of HBL PSL is critical to the PCB and the franchisees and, as such, there was a continued commitment to make it a bigger, better and stronger brand.

“The PCB and the franchisees expressed determination that they will continue to work together to resolve all pending matters and ensure all parties continue to flourish and benefit from what is now one of biggest and most followed cricket leagues in the world.”

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020