KARACHI: Defending champions Islamabad United will face Peshawar Zalmi in the opening match of the second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), which kicks off on February 9, 2017 in the UAE, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced yesterday.
The final will be played on March 7 but whether Lahore will host the title-deciding game is still up in the air.
PSL Chairman Najam Sethi had announced last month that the final of PCB’s showpiece event will definitely be staged in Lahore, but in the schedule of matches released yesterday, the board listed the plan as ‘subject to security clearance’.
“PCB is desperate to host the final in Lahore but it’s not certain,” a board official admitted while speaking to The Express Tribune. “PCB is continuously in contact with security officials and will wait for their clearance. Foreign players will be informed accordingly about the situation.”
Meanwhile, the number of match days during the tournament has been increased from 16 to 18, while the opening ceremony will be held ahead of the opening match in Dubai; Sharjah will be the other venue to host the five-team event.
Happy to face champions in opener: Akram
Peshawar Zalmi head coach and director Mohammad Akram said he was excited to face United in the opening game.
“It will be great to meet the champions and we will try our best to start [the campaign] with a win,” Akram told The Express Tribune. “Like every team we are aiming to be crowned champions. Since this will be the second edition of the PSL, all teams will come better prepared and will provide more competition.”
The former Pakistan pacer also added that he was happy with Zalmi’s team combination, which will be led by two-time World T20 winning captain Darren Sammy of the West Indies.
“We have a balanced side and I am happy with the combination. Overall this league is very beneficial for our youngsters,” he added.
Mark your calendars
Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2016.