Dubai – The Pakistan Super League (PSL) trophy for the third session, which starts from February 22 in Dubai, was jointly unveiled by the captains of each of the PSL franchises at a ceremony held in Dubai on Tuesday.
The unveiling ceremony was accompanied by a press conference addressed by PSL chief Najam Sethi and captains Darren Sammy, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Brendon McCullum, Misbah-ul-Haq and Sarfraz Ahmed.
Cricket fans in Pakistan will get more PSL games at home after the successful staging of the final of the second season of the six-team tournament in 2017.
The organisers have decided to keep two playoff matches in Lahore along with the final in Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan. They hope that staging of more PSL matches in Pakistan would bring more international cricket to Pakistanis grounds.
The announcement of the new schedule was made during the HBL PSL trophy unveiling on Tuesday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Speaking at the trophy unveiling, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi pointed out that doubters have been proved wrong as the PSL had become a successful brand. “I thank all the stakeholders, sponsors, franchises and above all the players for their outstanding support to prove the doubters wrong and make the PSL successful and help it grow,” he said.
Sethi said: “Peshawar Zalmi captain Sammy is a household name in Pakistan as he was the first foreign player to raise his hand to go to Pakistan and play the final in Lahore. He was the hero in Lahore and he won the trophy for Peshawar Zalmi and the rest was history.”
Former captain of Pakistan cricket team Misbah-ul-Haq also hailed PSL and said that T20 tournament had provided a perfect platform to the young Pakistani talent to come to the fore. “It is the best thing that has happened to the Pakistan cricket as it has provided a platform to youngsters to emerge on the world scene,” he added.
“We hope to produce more Fakhar Zamans and Shadab Khans through the PSL to represent Pakistan on a bigger stage,” Misbah said.
Shahid Afridi, the most popular cricketer Pakistan has ever produced, was the centre of attraction as he shared the stage with Sethi and captains. “I salute Sethi for taking this bold step to start the PSL which has changed the scenario of Pakistan cricket. It is one the top leagues in the world and keeps on growing. It has helped the youth to exhibit their skills.
“Since I am with Karachi Kings and I hope to win the title for Karachiites this year.”
The PSL starts on Thursday (February 22) when defending champions Peshawar Zalmi take on new-comers Multan Sultans at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and the final is scheduled to be held in Karachi on March 25. – firstname.lastname@example.org