LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and all six franchises of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have unanimously decided to hold the next edition of league in January and February next year, with all fixtures planned on home soil, while also ensuring that maximum matches should be included in the home series against Australia who are due to tour the country in February and March.
A joint meeting of the PCB officials with the franchise owners was held via Zoom on Friday and cleared January and February as the ideal window to stage the PSL-7.
According to sources in franchises, the PSL will start from Karachi and end in Punjab.
The franchises agreed that the PCB should prepare such a schedule of the PSL matches, which should also ensure a maximum number of matches during Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998.
The sources said January/February is considered as the best window for the PSL season because immediately after the Australia series concludes, the holy month of Ramazan will begin while the Indian Premier League is also expected to start, which could hinder issues related to the broadcasters and availability of overseas players.
When asked the track-record reveals that Covid-19 threat had been more serious during the months from January to May and the last two editions of PSL were badly disrupted by the pandemic, sources said the PCB would be hiring the services of a UK company — as it did during the second leg of the T20 league in Abu Dhabi recently — to ensure complete implementation of the SOPs.
“And now there are many examples when there were no postponements of major sporting events despite the emergence of some Covid-19 cases. So life has to go on with this threat,” sources said. “The PCB will start working on the schedule of PSL-7 and decide how many double-headers can be included.”
It may be mentioned that the PCB has to sign new commercial rights including the title sponsorship, media rights and many others for the next three years but before doing that they have to evaluate the current value of the PSL and then start bidding for the new commercial agreements.
Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2021