The inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL) will be played in Dubai and Sharjah, from February 4 to 24, 2016. The PCB announced the venues in a release on Thursday, ending speculation over whether the UAE can accommodate both the Masters Champions League and the Pakistan T20 tournament in the February window.
In August the PCB had said the PSL would be held in Doha, Qatar, as it had learned that the organisers of the Masters Champions League, a tournament for retired international cricketers, had already booked the stadiums. Now it is confirmed that the Masters Champions League will be held in Abu Dhabi concurrently, with the other two venues will be reserved for the PSL. This solution was offered by the Emirates Cricket Board. The PCB had listed the UAE as its first-choice host given it has been the Pakistan team’s virtual home since 2009, when the Sri Lankan team was attacked in Lahore.
“The PSL has already floated tenders for broadcasters and producers,” Najam Sethi, the chairman of the governing council of the PSL, said. “This will be followed by a tendering process for sponsorships in the second week of October. Franchise owners will be inducted between mid to end November, after which the foreign and local players will be drafted and teams constituted.”
The tournament will consist of five teams, one each from Quetta, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, and Islamabad. According to the PCB release, the PSL will offer up to $1 million in prize money, and “the latest tally of foreign player signing consents standing at an impressive 132. The players will be selected through a draft process in December.” The teams will each have a purse of $1 million from which they can build their squads and support staff.
Sethi said: “There is a pool of top coaches also, from which franchise owners will be able to pick and chose.”