Karachi, Aug 26: Ending speculation, the PCB today announced Doha, Qatar as the venue for hosting the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) from February 4-24 next year.
After days of suspense, the Pakistan Cricket Board today finally decided to go ahead with Qatar after failing to book venues in the UAE during those dates.
Admitting that Doha is a relatively unknown and new international cricket centre, Sethi, however, said the PCB is confident that with the cooperation of the Qatar Olympic body and the country's national cricket association, top facilities would be provided for the League.
"We had the option of delaying the launch of the PSL till April and have it in Dubai or other UAE venues but the window did not suit us at all due to unavailability of players," Najam Sethi, who is heading the PSL secretariat in the PCB, told a media conference in Lahore.
Earlier, the PCB had twice postponed the launch of its T20 league because to various reasons, but Sethi said this time everything was on schedule with broadcasters, production companies, event managers and sponsors all lined up.
Sethi said that in the first edition of the PSL would have five teams from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta and Peshawar who would be sold as franchises, but the number of teams could be increased later. He also informed that as of now five teams are scheduled to play 24 matches next year.
"The response we have got for the five franchises is overwhelming and more than our expectations," Sethi insisted.
The Twenty20 League will have a collective prize purse of upto USD one million dollar. "Top foreign players from all Test playing nations except India have expressed interest in signing up for the PSL. As of now, the PSL has consent from over 40 international players," Sethi said, adding that even top foreign coaches are being roped in for the first edition of the League.
"The players auction would be held in Pakistan and the official logo of the PSL would be unveiled next month," he said.