LAHORE: Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad will get the honour of hosting the inaugural Faysal Bank Super Eight Twenty20 Cricket Cup from June 24 to July 1.
With this Super Eight Twenty20 Cup, the Faisalabad venue is also being tested for the first time for a national-level Twenty20 contest. Earlier, this form of cricket was only confined to two big cities — Karachi and Lahore.
Moreover, expecting big crowds at the stadium to witness top Pakistani cricketers representing different regional teams, the PCB has also decided to charge entry fee, most likely up to Rs50. The gate money will be kept by the Faisalabad Region.
The decision to charge entry fee was taken in the backdrop of a rush of ardent fans who had thronged the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to watch the gruelling final between Lahore Lions and Karachi Dolphins last year.
The teams have been divided into two groups with the reigning champions Lahore Lions in group ‘A’ along with Sialkot Stallions, Islamabad Leopards and Hyderabad Hawks.
Rawalpindi Rams, Karachi Dolphins, Multan Tigers and the hosts Faisalabad Wolves are placed in group ‘B’.
The semi-finals will be held on June 30 followed by the final on July 1. The opening match of the competition, featuring thrilling day-night contests, will be played between Faisalabad Wolves and Multan Tigers.
The cash prize for the winners is Rs2.5 million while the runners-up will pocket Rs1 million.
Commenting on the event, PCB’s Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed said: “The partnership between the PCB and Faysal Bank will go a long way in improving the standard of Pakistan’s domestic cricket. The PCB has a resolve to assure that people can watch the stars playing live in absence of international cricket in Pakistan. To implement this idea Faisalabad was chosen as venue for this big event.”
Two matches will be staged every day with the first game starting at 5:00pm followed by the second at 9:00pm.
June 24: Faisalabad Wolves v Multan Tigers; Karachi Dolphins v Rawalpindi Rams.
June 25: Islamabad Leopards v Hyderabad Hawks; Lahore Lions v Sialkot Stallions.
June 26: Karachi Dolphins v Multan Tigers; Faisalabad Wolves v Rawalpindi Rams.
June 27: Sialkot Stallions v Hyderabad Hawks; Lahore Lions v Islamabad Leopards.
June 28: Karachi Dolphins v Faisalabad Wolves; Rawalpindi Rams v Multan Tigers.
June 29: Islamabad Leopards v Sialkot Stallions; Lahore Lions v Hyderabad Hawks.
June 30: Semi-finals.
July 1: Final.