Rawalpindi was stripped of the rights to host the season-opening domestic Twenty20 championship by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) due to the poor condition of the stadium.
The PCB had planned on holding the event in Rawalpindi from September 16 but confirmed that it has shifted the 14-team tournament to the Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore after the stadium’s dilapidated condition delayed the local authorities’ bid to complete the renovation work on time.
The popular Twenty20 tournament has also been delayed by a week and will now kick off in the last week of September. This will also allow members of the national squad to take part as they are due to be back from Zimbabwe by then. The event will witness action from thirteen regional teams, as well as a side from Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s premier Twenty20 championship originally had a lineup of thirteen teams divided into four groups but with the induction of a side from Afghanistan, the event is now likely to have two groups of seven teams. The top two teams topping the points table in their respective groups will reach the semi-final stage.
Karachi Dolphins, Karachi Zebras, Lahore Lions, Lahore Eagles, Sialkot Stallions, Islamabad Leopards, Abbotabad Falcons, Rawalpindi Rams, Multan Tigers, Quetta Bears, Faisalabad Wolves, Peshawar, Panthers, Hyderabad Hawks, Afghanistan XI
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2011.