The first match of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2022 will be held in Karachi on January 27 and Lahore will host the tournament's final on February 27, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Friday as it released the schedule for the seventh edition of its premier cricket league.
"Following an opening ceremony, defending champions Multan Sultans will take on hosts and 2020 champions Karachi Kings at the National Stadium with the first ball to be bowled at 7pm" on January 27, a PCB press release said, adding that 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators would go toe to toe with 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi the following day.
"After Karachi, which will host 15 matches from January 27 to February 7, action will shift to the Gaddafi Stadium where the remaining 15 league matches and the four play-offs will be played from February 10-27," the PCB said.
It will be the first time since 2017 when the headquarters of Pakistan cricket will host the PSL final.
The National Stadium in Karachi had staged the league's finals from 2018 to 2020, while Abu Dhabi was the venue for the 2021 final, where Multan Sultans defeated Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs.
Speaking on the matter, PCB Chairperson Ramiz Raja said: “I am delighted that the HBL PSL 7 schedule has been announced. This will now get the ball rolling with the teams to start planning and finalising their line-ups and the PCB increasing the pace of the operational delivery to ensure they provide quality playing facilities for the players as well as a five-star experience to the fans and our valued commercial partners."
“The HBL PSL 7 will also kickstart what will be a bumper year for Pakistan cricket with the Australia men’s cricket team to play a full series in March-April with England men’s cricket side to tour Pakistan twice for white-ball and red-ball cricket," Raja added.
According to the press release, the PCB has decided to hold the player draft for the league at its National High Performance Centre in Lahore on December 12.
"Each side will come to the draft with a maximum of eight-player retentions from the last event," it further stated. "Following the finalisation of player categories, the transfer and retention window is now officially open and will close on December 10."
According to the press release, Lahore Qalandars will have the first pick in the Platinum category, Diamond category, Gold category and Emerging category, Peshawar Zalmi will have the first pick in the Silver category, and Quetta Gladiators will have the first pick in the Supplementary category.
Local players’ category renewals
The press release said the PCB, after a review and assessment process, had updated local players’ categories.
"In the biggest moves, Pakistan wicketkeeper/batter and Multan Sultan’s captain Mohammad Rizwan (previously Silver), Asif Ali of Islamabad United (previously Gold) and Lahore Qalandars’ Haris Rauf (previously Diamond) have been placed in Platinum Category."
Moreover, Multan Sultans’ Sohaib Maqsood, who was named the Player of HBL PSL's sixth edition, and Haider Ali of Peshawar Zalmi have moved up from Silver and Gold categories to Diamond category, respectively.
Schedule for matches in Karachi:
- Jan 27: Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans
- Jan 28 - Quetta Gladiators vs Peshawar Zalmi
- Jan 29: Multan Sultans vs Lahore Qalandars; Karachi Kings vs Quetta Gladiators
- Jan 30: Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United; Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars
- Jan 31: Quetta Gladiators vs Multan Sultans
- Feb 1: Islamabad United vs Multan Sultans
- Feb 2: Peshawar Zalmi vs Lahore Qalandars
- Feb 3: Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United
- Feb 4: Karachi Kings vs Peshawar Zalmi
- Feb 5: Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars; Peshawar Zalmi vs Multan Sultans
- Feb 6: Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United
- Feb 7: Quetta Gladiators vs Lahore Qalandars
Schedule for matches in Lahore:
- Feb 10: Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi
- Feb 11: Lahore Qalandars vs Multan Sultans
- Feb 12: Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators
- Feb 13: Peshawar Zalmi vs Karachi Kings; Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta Gladiators
- Feb 14: Islamabad United vs Karachi Kings
- Feb 15: Peshawar Zalmi vs Quetta Gladiators
- Feb 16: Multan Sultans vs Karachi Kings
- Feb 17: Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi
- Feb 18: Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators; Lahore Qalandars vs Karachi Kings
- Feb 19: Lahore Qalandars vs Islamabad United
- Feb 20: Quetta Gladiators vs Karachi Kings; Multan Sultans vs Islamabad United
- Feb 21: Lahore Qalandars vs Peshawar Zalmi
- Feb 23: Qualifier (1 vs 2)
- Feb 24: Eliminator 1 (3 vs 4)
- Feb 25: Eliminator 2 (Loser Qualifier 1 vs Winner Eliminator 1)
- Feb 27: (Qualifier v Eliminator 2) Final