LAHORE: The seventh edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League will start from Jan 27 with the month-long tournament beginning in Karachi and ending in Lahore, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced on Friday.

Karachi will host the first 15 matches with the last 19 matches being held in Lahore starting Feb 10, including its Feb 27 showpiece final which will return to the Gaddafi Stadium for the first time since 2017.

The opening match will see holders Multan Sultans take on 2020 champions Karachi Kings at the National Stadium while 2019 champions Quetta Gladiators and 2017 winners Peshawar Zalmi clashing the following day.

The announcement for the next edition comes despite PCB having failed to clear the accounts of the last edition of the PSL, which was halted midway due to Covid-19 before being finally completed in the United Arab Emirates.

The PCB also announced that the players’ draft ceremony will be held on Dec 12 in Lahore.

Each side will come to the draft with a maximum of eight player retention from the last event. Following the finalisation of player categories, the transfer and retention window is now officially open and will close on Dec 10.

The PCB announced several changes in the 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,” it said in the news release.

“Multan Sultans’ Sohaib Maqsood, who was Player of HBL PSL 6, and Haider Ali of Peshawar Zalmi have moved up from Silver and Gold Categories to Diamond Category, respectively.”

PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said the PSL will be the first event of a big year for Pakistan cricket.

“The HBL PSL 7 will also kick start 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,” he was quoted as saying in the news release.

Schedule

(Matches from 27 Jan-7 Feb to be played at the National Stadium, Karachi; matches from 10-27 Feb to be played at the Gaddafi Stadium): Jan 27: Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans Jan 28: Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi Jan 29: Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars; Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators Jan 30: Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United; Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars Jan 31: Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans Feb 1: Islamabad United v Multan Sultans Feb 2: Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars Feb 3: Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United Feb 4: Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi Feb 5: Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars; Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans Feb 6: Karachi Kings v Islamabad United Feb 7: Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars Feb 10: Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi Feb 11: Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans Feb 12: Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators Feb 13: Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings; Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators Feb 14: Islamabad United v Karachi Kings Feb 15: Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators Feb 16: Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings Feb 17: Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi Feb 18: Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators; Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings Feb 19: Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United Feb 20: Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings; Multan Sultans v Islamabad United Feb 21: Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi Feb 23: Qualifier (1 v 2) Feb 24: Eliminator 1 (3 v 4) Feb 25: Eliminator 2 (Loser Qualifier 1 v Winner Eliminator 1) Feb 27: (Qualifier v Eliminator 2) Final Match timings: Friday’s double-headers — 3pm & 8pm; Other than Friday’s double-headers — 2pm & 7pm; All single-headers — 7pm.

Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2021

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