Quetta Gladiators won the Pakistan Super League title last year as they defeated Peshawar Zalmi. (Photo Credit: Quetta Gladiators Facebook)
The Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament is all set to enter new ground in 2020 after the Cricket Board announced that the entire edition of the tournament will be played in Pakistan. Four cities, Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan will host the 34 games in the tournament. Out of the 34 games, Lahore will host 12 matches including the marquee final. Nine matches will be organized in Karachi, including the opener between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United. Rawalpindi, which hosted its first Test last month since 2004, has eight games and Multan has three. The entire first edition of the PSL in 2016 was staged in the United Arab Emirates before the PCB held the 2017 final at Lahore. In 2018, four matches were organized at Lahore and Karachi - with the rest in the UAE - while last year Karachi hosted eight matches.
"After bringing test cricket back to Pakistan, hosting of the entire Pakistan Super League is our other major achievement. I never had any doubts it was Pakistan's league and should be played in front of home crowds," Ehsan Mani, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman.
A total of 36 foreign players will play this year for six local franchises - Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United, Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi. Those players include batsman Jason Roy of England, South African pacer Dale Steyn and West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons. Pakistan has been trying to win back the confidence of foreign countries ever since the doors of international cricket were shut on the country following an attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team's bus at Lahore in 2009. The ambush left eight people dead and several Sri Lanka players and team officials injured.
Over the years Pakistan has hosted Zimbabwe, West Indies, a World XI and Sri Lanka in limited-overs matches before successfully organising two Tests against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi and Karachi last month. Islamabad United have won the Pakistan Super League title twice in 2016 and 2018 while Peshawar Zalmi won the title in 2017. Last year, Quetta Gladiators got the better of Peshawar Zalmi to win their maiden title. Both Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi have lost two finals in the four editions of the tournament that have taken place.