HBL PSL 2020 held entirely in Pakistan
Quetta Gladiators will kick-start the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League as the defending champion after defeating Peshawar Zalmi in the final. And according to Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, it has been announced that the entire PSL will be played in Pakistan next time, which will come as huge news for all Pakistan cricket fans. Teams decided for PSL 5 as draft ends in Lahore on December 6th.
The opening ceremony that was held on 20 February in Karachi was spectacular with around 350 artists performing live including fame artists like Abrar-ul-Haq, Aima Baig, Abu Mohammad, Fareed Ayaz, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sajjad Ali, Sanam Marvi and Soch the band. Ali Azmat, Arif Lohar, Haroon Rashid and Asim Azhar performed the PSL anthem, followed by fireworks.
Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi Multan will be the host cities for the fifth PSL season. PCB announces PSL scheduled to be played from Feb 20 to Mar 22 2020. PCB also confirm that they will be setting up ‘Fan Parks’ for PSL 2020 across various cities in Pakistan.
While the PCB is still working on the logistics around the PSL for the upcoming edition, it has been said that all the matches will be played in Pakistan. What this means is that the players who make it to the PSL Draft will have to be a part only if they can commit to featuring in Pakistan for all the games unlike any of the previous seasons.
Media reports in Pakistan suggest that Lahore could host 11 matches while Karachi will see nine matches played. The tournament might also be played at Multan and Rawalpindi who could host 12 matches between them. In other big news, there are reports that the PSL 2020 Final will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore as opposed to the National Stadium in Karachi. The winners of this year’s league will receive the trophy and a cash price of $500,000 (3.58 crores) while the runner-up team will be awarded $200,000 (1.43 crores). From next season (PSL 6), a few matches may also be played at the Arbab Niaz Stadium, Peshawar.
In the fourth season which was played in 2019, Quetta Gladiators won the title by defeating Peshawar Zalmi in the final. This was after both, the Gladiators and Zalmis finished in the top two of the points table with 14 points from 10 games.
The other two teams that qualified for the playoffs where Islamabad United and Karachi Kings, finishing third and fourth with five wins each. Multan Sultans failed to make the playoffs along with the perennial bottom-perchers, Lahore Qalandars who finished sixth yet again.
In the playoffs, Quetta defeated Peshawar in the first Qualifier by 10 runs thanks to a Shane Watson’s 71 to reach the final. Islamabad United overcame Karachi Kings to knock them out of the competition before a Kamran Akmal 74 ended the United hopes in the second Qualifier.
The final saw the Zalmis struggle to make a mere 138/8 from their 20 overs which the Gladiators chased down in 17.5 overs for the loss of two wickets only.
The 2019 edition of the Pakistan Super League was played from February 14, 2019, and eight of the matches were played in Pakistan. The last eight games of the 2019 PSL were played in Pakistan, including the final which was played in Karachi like last season.
PCB had intended to hold three matches in Lahore while Karachi was to host five matches including the season finale but all matches that were to be played in Pakistan were later shifted to Karachi.
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 were played in Lahore. We had six PSL 2020 teams, 34 matches and 3 matches in Pakistan with 2 taking place in Lahore and 1 match played at Karachi.
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.