The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Friday, confirmed that the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League kicks off on February 20, with the final on March 22. Owing to COVID-19, the PCB have finalised - Karachi and Lahore - as the two venues for the entirety of PSL’s 2021 edition.
While the 2020 edition of the PSL was divided into two parts - owing to COVID-19 spoiling the party, it was Karachi Kings who won the tournament, their first-ever win in the tournament’s history. PCB, on Friday, announced that the 2021 edition of the 20-over event would kick off on February 20 with the defending champions Karachi Kings taking on Quetta Gladiators. The final of the tournament, however, would be played on March 22.
The tournament organisers also finalised - Karachi and Lahore as two venues for hosting the entire tournament in order to limit the movement of the teams during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lahore will host the second half of the tournament, including the play-off stage while Karachi will act as the host for the first half of the tournament. However, a decision hasn’t yet been made on the inclusion of fans at the venue.
"We had to make the tough decision to limit matches to Karachi and Lahore, and this decision has been taken in the larger interest of the event, participants and the country," Babar Hamid, Director- Commercial said, reported Cricbuzz.
"We want to limit the unnecessary exposure of the players as much as practically possible so that the players can operate in a safe and healthy environment that, in turn, will allow them to continue to entertain the fans and followers with their talent, skills and gamesmanship,” he added.
Earlier in the week, PCB confirmed that the player draft will take place in Lahore on 10 January, with big names like Rashid Khan, Chris Gayle, and Dale Steyn all registering themselves for the auction.
"Although we have a couple of options on the table, the PCB will continue to monitor the situation and delay the decision as late as possible on crowd attendances as for the PCB, health and lives are of utmost importance," he further added.