PCB is still debating over Pakistan Super League, the fate of which “is looking dicey”. After being put off twice, earlier in January PCB decided to reinitiate the project in 33rd Board of Governors meeting held under the leadership of PCB Chairman Shaharyar M. Khan in January 2015.

The project was first taken up in 2008-2009 but failed to follow through due to security concerns in the country, after which it was launched in 2013 and re-launched in 2014 under the Chairmanship of Zaka Ashraf serving at that time, to be held at UAE but was again held in abeyance due to logistic issues.


More ambitious this time, the board hired Salman Sarwar Butt as a project director. Furthermore a governing council has been set up consisting of PCB Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed, Chief Financial Officer Babar Manzoor, Director Marketing Naila Bhatti and Najam Sethi (Head of EC) to look over the affairs of PSL.

As remarked by a senior PCB official: “The PCB has decided to recruit Butt as the T20 league project head because he has got the profile and experience for this all-important role.”


PCB was able to clinch a deal with REPUCOM, a blue chip company that provides consultancy in the areas of sports, entertainment and events. The firm was hired to advise PCB in matters pertaining to venue, league format, associated risks and the marketability of the project.


While shedding light on the partnership, a senior official from PCB asserted: “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 decision of carrying out the league abroad was taken in order to attract international players, swallowing the fact that the league could only be made successful with the participation of big names from abroad, who would otherwise baulk to play in Pakistani grounds.

Repucom also advised PCB to initially carry the league with the five-team format. If set in motion, the league will roll out with five teams contending on double-league basis with top two playing the final. The format of PSL resembles its money-spinner counterpart, the IPL (Indian Premiere League).

As announced, after a meeting of governing bodies of PCB held earlier in June, the contest was to take place in February 2016.

Although the board was very keen to bring the project to pass, PSL was yet again left in heebie-jeebies. The Masters Champions League, a T20 tournament for retired cricketers booked the venues in the same period of time for two weeks, making grounds unavailable for PSL matches. Other plans of taking PSL to Qatar also came forward, but since there is only one international-level ground available, PCB seems to retrace its steps from it.

Left in gloom and haze, Chairman Shaharyar said: “I’m not a great T20 man so I’ve left this project to Najam Sethi and the others,” he further commented: “But at the moment, it’s looking dicey. And at this late stage, to go to Qatar and put everything right for February, it’s going to be difficult. My theory is that if you can’t do something well, don’t do it.”

But later he changed his stance, expressing frigid hopes by saying: “I am sure that all issues will be successfully dealt by the Super League secretariat.” He also conveyed his excitement for the project and wished the PSL and PCB executive committee good fortunes.

images (1)


However, the PCB committee is still determined and is now considering Bangladesh and South Africa as possible venues for its star-crossed PSL.

While commenting on the situation Shaharyar Khan positioned: “The UAE is fine but it’s expensive and we don’t get too big a crowd there. Bangladesh is a very good alternative. It has excellent grounds and the crowd is friendly. South Africa is another possibility and they are very keen to host us. We’re talking to both boards.”

While commenting on India as an option for hosting PSL, Khan added: “At the moment, due to the political situation, it’s not possible to host our matches in India but from a cricketing point of view, there’s nothing against it. If relations improve, we could consider it.”

Still fraught with uncertainty, PCB is indulged in the spadework, trying to bring Pakistan Super League to reality.