Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi has revealed plans of hosting half of the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) fourth edition in the country.
Sethi broke the news while talking to the media during his visit of the National Stadium in Karachi on Friday. “We plan to have half of the PSL next year in Pakistan,” said Sethi. “But for that, we need four stadiums. As of now, we have Lahore, Karachi and Multan ready to host big matches, so now our focus is on preparing the stadiums of Rawalpindi and Peshawar.”
“In the fourth PSL series, we want double-weekend matches,” explaining that on Thursday and Friday, matches would be held in the United Arab Emirates, whereas teams would play in Pakistan on Saturday and Sunday.” The 70-year-old Sethi went on to explain the importance of successful organisation of PSL3 final.
“We’ve been working day and night to bring back international cricket back in the country. This final [of PSL3] is of real significance for the people of Karachi and Pakistan. First people said PSL is not possible, then they said it cannot take place in Pakistan, then they said foreign players will not come, but we’ve proven them wrong.” Sethi also said that PSL3 final will highlight the positive image of Karachi. “When I announced that PSL3 final will be organised in Karachi, people said we will not be able to bring foreign players because of the city’s image of being dangerous and unsafe,” said Sethi. “But once we successfully organise the PSL3 final, I am sure it will give a positive image of Karachi, which will help in reviving sports and improving tourism in the city.”
Talking about the return of international cricket in the country, Sethi said it was not possible for Pakistan to host any more foreign teams this year after the March 25 PSL final in Karachi as all the national team’s scheduled matches and series would be held abroad.
“We are going step-by-step in that regard. West Indies are coming in early April, but unfortunately, we don’t have space in the running year to have more series in Pakistan as we are touring other countries. But along with this we are trying to find a window in August or September to play five to seven matches with the West Indies and Bangladesh in Houston and Florida. But that hasn’t been finalised as yet,” he added.
“We are exploring [our options] but we don’t have space for a foreign team to visit. There are some teams that are ready [to play in Pakistan]. I won’t name them, but they have said they are ready so we will plan for next year. We want a top-level team, and not just three to four matches but a whole series.”
The time is not right as yet, he said, explaining that stadiums must be prepared beforehand and nationwide security has to be top class before it can happen. He said that stadiums will also be built in Islamabad and Peshawar. “We are hopeful there will be more PSL in Pakistan,” he added. Sethi said he was looking forward to the final. “One of the teams [Islamabad United] won the first championship, the other [Peshawar Zalmi], the second championship. Let’s see who wins the third round,” he said. “Whoever wins, it will ultimately be a win for Pakistan.”