KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has been suggested to hold a five-team Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the UAE by consultants Repucom in order to make the inaugural edition of the event successful.
The board has hired the trusted and globally recognised Repucom to devise a plan for the T20 league, consulting them on matters such as where the tournament should be held, the number of teams that should participate in it, the risk factors involved and how they can be avoided, and how the PCB can attract and engage sponsors and improve the marketability of the product.
Repucom has been involved with leading global sports brands such as Adidas, Australian Tennis, Bundesliga, English Premier League, Australia Rugby and Australian Football. The firm’s client list boasts the biggest sporting organisations such as Seattle Seahawks, Melbourne FC, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Lakers, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern München, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Arsenal, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull Racing, Major League Baseball (MLB), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), European Tour International, PGA Tour, NASCAR and Volvo Ocean Race SLU.
“The PCB has been advised by PSL consultants Repucom to go ahead with a five-team event in the inaugural edition,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “We’ve hired Repucom because they have a reputation of delivering in big projects and their advice would certainly help the viability and credibility of our high-profile T20 league. As things stand, the venue would be the UAE as we don’t want to rush things in Pakistan and want to build on the successful tour of Zimbabwe.”
The board has sped up the efforts as it is keen to host the league next year, especially since the project has already been delayed twice previously — once in the tenure of Zaka Ashraf and then again when Najam Sethi was the board’s chairman.
PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan, board’s executive committee head Sethi and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Subhan Ahmed are all keen on ensuring that the league takes place next year.
While they will have to take the governing board members in confidence regarding the project in an important meeting on Saturday at the PCB headquarters, it appears merely a formality at the moment.
“The plan is to go ahead with the PSL next year in February because that is the only window available in the near future. If the PSL does take place, then it will be after the tour of New Zealand and before the World Twenty20 in India,” added the official further. “We’ll have around three weeks to complete the competition and it would be easier to attract big names with the T20 league being played in the UAE.”
If the project materialises, the five teams will play each other on a double-league basis followed by a final between the top two sides.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2015.