PSL 2019 – de Villiers, Smith to Play PSL, 8 Matches in Pakistan
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. PCB intends to hold three matches in Lahore while Karachi to host five matches including the season-finale that will be held on March 17.
The fourth season of the Pakistan Super League will be played across five venues, three in UAE and two in Pakistan. Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai are the three stadiums in UAE while the two Pakistani venues include Lahore and Karachi. The final will be held in Karachi.
According to latest reports, the contract of Multan Sultans with Schon Properties Broker LLC has been terminated because of allegations of non-payment of dues. However, the team (renamed as the “The Sixth Team” for now) will continue to exist with the ownership said to transfer to the PCB.
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 will be played in Pakistan this season with PCB chief Ehsan Mani promising they were looking at bringing the entire PSL to Pakistan in two to three years.
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 was also confirmed was that South African cricket legend AB de Villiers will be playing in this edition of the PSL and will feature for the Lahore Qalandars after he became the first pick of the PSL Draft this season. More news on de Villiers’ selection can be found here.
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.
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. In fact some of the teams made it very clear during the Draft they were going to pick only those players who were happy to feature in Pakistan for those eight games during the PSL.
The PSL 2019 schedule for the fourth season has now been revealed. The PSL Draft was held on November 20 after the teams were allowed to retain up to 10 players apiece. 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.