PSL opener to clash with ILT20 final


The Pakistan Super League’s 2024 season opener will coincide with the final of the UAE’s ILT20, a scheduling clash which will provide complications for franchises in both leagues.

The ninth edition of the PSL will launch on February 17 with a fixture between the league’s two most successful teams, defending champions Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United, at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. The ILT20 final is due to take place in Dubai at the same time.

There are five Pakistan players with ILT20 contracts whose availability for the final stages of the tournament is likely to be compromised as a result. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan, Mohammad Amir are all due to play for Desert Vipers, while Imad Wasim was recently unveiled as a new signing by Abu Dhabi Knight Riders.

A number of overseas players are also due to feature in both leagues and may miss either the start of the PSL or the final stages of the ILT20, depending on the terms of their contracts and their franchises’ progress.

The PCB unveiled fixtures for the PSL on Friday, with the tournament’s final scheduled for March 18. The knockout stages will be played in Karachi for the first time since 2020, which will host a total of 11 games. Lahore (nine games), Rawalpindi (nine) and Multan (five) will also stage fixtures, but neither Quetta nor Peshawar will.

Zaka Ashraf, the chair of the PCB’s management committee, said: “The decision to host the marquee event across these cities is a testament to our commitment to bring top-notch cricket to fans across the country. We believe that hosting matches in these venues not only adds to the excitement for fans but also promotes cricket at the grassroots level.”

The PCB recently agreed a new broadcast deal for the 2024 and 2025 editions of the PSL and reported a 113% increase in the value of live-streaming rights and a 45% increase in the value of broadcast rights. “It is an unprecedented moment as the prices for both of these rights are unmatched,” Ashraf said. “This is a testament to the growth of the HBL PSL brand.”

The board also announced that the National Women’s T20 Tournament will start on Monday, January 15 and will feature six regional teams: Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta and Rawalpindi. The final will be staged on January 31, with the venue yet to be announced.

The 16-player squads were selected by the national women’s selection committee. “The National Women’s T20 Tournament 2024 serves [as] a great opportunity for the players to stake a claim in the national team ahead of the busy international year,” the PCB said in a press release, with both the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup due to take place in September-October.

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