PSL 2019 – At Least 8 Matches in Pakistan Confirmed
The 2019 edition of the Pakistan Super League is still a few months away but the preparation has already begun to make it bigger and better. And while it’s still a matter of the opening ceremony, the PSL committee has decided it will try and host the opening ceremony of the competition in Pakistan.
According to latest reports, eight PSL matches could be played in Pakistan this season. While the increased security is an obvious reason for this decision, one other reason that the PSL Governing Council might have taken this call is because the PCB had tried to negotiate with the Emirates Cricket Board to not host any T20 tournaments at least 35 days before the PSL in order to avoid any marketing or logistical issues.
Now, the PSL Governing Council has decided not to allow the Pakistan players to feature in the Emirates T20 League that has been announced and will be played before the PSL.
By bringing the PSL Opening Ceremony into Pakistan, it could well be the next step that the PCB is taking in bringing the entire tournament back in Pakistan. And it’s not just the opening ceremony but the PCB has also decided they will play a few more matches in Pakistan and if reports are to be believed players won’t be allowed to pick and choose matches.
The schedule for the fourth season of the PSL is yet to be revealed but there’s a good chance it will be played in February 2019. There will be a player draft for sure but teams will be allowed to retain X number of players and the rest will be picked through the Draft.
Till recently, players were allowed to play in the UAE and opt out of featuring in Pakistan and those who made the trip to the country were paid extra. Going forward, neither of these possibilities will be allowed.
Because of the security situation that had existed in the country, the first edition of the PSL was fully played in UAE but things have gradually improved and teams and players are more ready to play in Pakistan as time has progressed.
The second season of PSL had seen the final hosted in Pakistan (in Lahore) and then the third season saw three playoff games including the final in the country. Karachi had hosted the final last season.
Islamabad United will enter the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League as defending champions after they won the 2018 title by beating the Peshawar Zalmi in the final of the competition that was played at the National Stadium in Karachi.
For the fourth season of the Pakistan Super League, there’s a possibility that 14 matches would be played in Pakistan at Karachi, Lahore and even Rawalpindi could be used to host some of the games. What would be most interesting to see is how many matches in the PSL 2019 are hosted in Pakistan – this number was 0 in 2016, 1 in 2017 and 3 in 2018. There is also a chance that a seventh team would be included in the PSL based out of FATA, Sialkot or Faisalabad. Here’s how you can buy PSL tickets for 2019.
What happened in the Earlier Seasons
The third edition of the HBL PSL concluded on the 25th of March and was yet another successful season. The final was held in Karachi while two games during the playoffs was played in Lahore. We had six teams, 34 matches and 3 matches in Pakistan with 2 taking place in Lahore and 1 match played at Karachi. International players were paid USD 10,000 per match to play in Pakistan.
In what came across as a surprising move, the Peshawar Zalmi captain Darren Sammy won the toss and decided to bat first. With chasing being a much easier task, the move backfired when the side managed to score just 148/9 from their 20 overs against a batting line-up that had shown considerable strength in the competition.
And that’s exactly how things turned out. Luke Ronchi continued with his impressive form and scored another half-century as the Islamabad United romped to their second title with more than three overs to spare.
Earlier, Islamabad had finished atop of the points table and beaten the Karachi Kings in the first Qualifier to make it to the final. The Zalmis needed to win their final two games to make the playoffs before getting the better of the Quetta Gladiators and Karachi Kings to enter the final.
First-timers Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars were knocked out of the tournament in the first round itself.
The second edition of the HBL PSL was won by Peshawar Zalmi. In what turned out to be a one-sided final, the Peshawar Zalmi defeated the Quetta Gladiators in the title-decider to lift the trophy. Darren Sammy hammered a quick-fire 28 down the order to become the difference between a score of 125 and 148 and on that slow and sluggish surface, the Gladiators were able to manage just 90 in reply. Mohammad Asghar grabbed three wickets while Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz scalped two apiece.
The HBL PSL cricket league has put the cricket action from the country back on the map. Boasting of international players and a league like format, the tournament took place in three stages, which was played in Dubai, Sharjah and Pakistan. The teams representing 6 major cities – Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Multan took part in the competition.