PSL 2019 – 8 Matches in Pakistan Confirmed
The 2019 edition of the Pakistan Super League will begin on February 14, 2019, and eight of the matches will be played in Pakistan as confirmed by the Pakistan Cricket Board. This call was taken on September 15 by the PCB and the PSL franchises after a meeting at the NCA.
The last eight games of the 2019 PSL will be played in Pakistan, including the final which will be played in Karachi like last season. The season-finale will be held on March 17.
The tournament 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.
What has also been confirmed is that South African cricket legend AB de Villiers will be playing in this edition of the PSL. More news on de Villiers’ selection can be found here.
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. Incidentally, the PCB, which was headed by Najam Sethi earlier, will now be led by Ehsan Mani. Sethi announced his resignation from his post following the national elections which saw former Pakistan captain Imran Khan get appointed as the Prime Minister. New PCB chairman Ehsan Mani has said he would like for the entire Pakistan Super League to be played in Pakistan from the 2020 edition of the tournament. He also confirmed there will be eight PSL games played in Pakistan for the 2019 season.
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 it will be played between February 14 and March 17. There will be a player draft for sure with teams allowed to retain 10 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 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, earlier there was 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. However, the final figure has been restricted tor eight – 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.
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 will take part in the competition.