The Cricket fans in Pakistan have marked their calendars already because the month of February is going to bring the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The enticing thing is that the tournament is going to be played on the home grounds of Pakistan for the first time in five years.
If we roll back these five years then it has been a fascinating and wonderfully successful journey not only for the cricket fans in Pakistan but also for the struggling Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
After the horrific attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, Cricket was almost out of the country as no team in the world was willing to tour Pakistan for any sort of cricket.
The idea of having a franchise-based T20 league popped out in the early 2010s but due to security concerns and other logistic issues, things were never implemented properly and the fans could not cherish having their own T20 league just like the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash League (BBL) of Australia.
The jealousy was certainly visible amongst the fans in Pakistan. Watching AB de Villiers smacking Dale Steyn in the IPL encounters and teams like Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings had a lot of fan following in Pakistan.
Some of the fans still follow the Indian Premier League (IPL) and its teams but, a majority of the fans got what they wanted finally in 2016.
PSL Happens Finally:
In 2016, the idea of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was finally taken seriously and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) under the supervision of Najam Sethi started making significant efforts to make it happen.
However, the security situation was still uncertain and the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) was hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It was happening finally and five of the franchises were also sold by the PCB to different corporate houses.
A glitzy opening ceremony with a wonderful anthem by the renowned singer and musician Ali Zafar set the Dubai Sports City on fire as a full house at the stadium witnessed the first-ever match of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) history between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators.
The fans in Pakistan were now more into the Karachi/Lahore banter instead of arguing over Mumbai and Rajasthan’s chances in the IPL.
The onus was shifted towards the breath-taking encounters between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators. At the same time, almost nobody was interested in talking about the future of the Delhi franchise in the IPL.
The Pakistan Super League (PSL) was a very low budget tournament compared to the IPL but it still got that level of praise and appreciation from the fans in Pakistan.
The earlier matches of the league used to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and some of the top players in the world took part in that competition like Kevin Pietersen, Kumar Sangakkara, Shane Watson, Chris Gayle, DJ Bravo and a few others as well.
After a successful first season in 2016, the tournament standard was set quite high and the fans were already missing the fun days of the PSL. However, a major setback in hosting the PSL in the stadiums of UAE was the availability of crowd in every single match.
It was very obvious that the crowd in the UAE could not attend every single match in the stadium because of their regular jobs and full-time office commitments.
Because of that issue, a majority of the matches were not attended by the crowds in UAE. However, the Sharjah cricket stadium was generous enough to attract a decent amount of people in its matches. The issue was taken seriously by the PCB and arrangements were done to host the final of the PSL 2017 in Pakistan.
The plan worked and the final of the second edition of the PSL was hosted at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore between Peshawar Zalmi and Quetta Gladiators.
However, due to some security concerns, top players of the Quetta Gladiators franchise refused to travel to Pakistan for the final and they were replaced at the last moment for the final.
The security situation in Pakistan kept on improving and also it is unfair not to mention the efforts of the Peshawar Zalmi franchise.
The whole squad of Peshawar Zalmi including their captain Darren Sammy visited Pakistan for the final and made history by becoming the first franchise in the PSL history to have toured Pakistan with their complete full-fledged squad.
Things were going in the right direction for the PCB and they decided to host a couple of matches of the PSL 2018 in Pakistan. It was big news because the final of the PSL 2017 was hosted in Pakistan and it was the right time for the competition to take place in Pakistan, at least for some matches.
As planned, the 3rd edition of the PSL went successfully as well and the National Stadium in Karachi hosted the big final between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi. Some of the play-offs and eliminators were also played in the PSL 2018 at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore.
Come PSL 2019, the spirits were high once again and the PCB had something big in their plans. They decided to host the play-offs completely in Pakistan. And the even bigger news was that the majority of the foreign players were also quite willing to tour Pakistan with their respective franchises.
The PSL 2019 was also a huge success for the PCB and the fans as the successful hosting of the play-offs paved way for something big in 2020. The time has come ladies and gentleman and we’re exactly a month away from the start of the biggest T20 fiesta in Pakistan.
The fifth edition of the PSL is going to be played completely in Pakistan across four cities. For the first time in the PSL history, the beautiful Pindi Cricket Stadium and the Multan Cricket Stadium will also get to host some of the matches of the competition.
It has been an inspirational and heart-warming journey for the cricket fans in Pakistan and for all the obvious reasons, they can’t wait for the PSL 2020 to start. The tournament schedule is also out and the Gaddafi Stadium of Lahore is going to host the most number of matches.
PSL 2020 Tickets:
If the PSL 2020 is going to be played in Pakistan completely then the fans would also like to know about the details of the tickets for the upcoming cricketing fiesta in the country.
The good news for the fans in Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and Multan is that the PCB has revealed the details of the PSL 2020 tickets and you can get them online as well as buy them from the available outlets. The PCB has kept ticket-prizes different for every single encounter and some packages have been announced as well.
The PCB has also announced four kinds of tickets i.e VIP, Premium, First-Class and General tickets. The VIP tickets are going to be available at a maximum rate of 6000 PKR and the minimum price of a VIP ticket for any match will be 1500 PKR.
You can check all the details on the official Twitter account of Pakistan Cricket and get all the related information there. You can also buy tickets online at Yavyo.com.