The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken the decision to include Quetta’s Bugti Stadium among the locations that will stage the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
The league’s eighth season, which will take place between February 13 and March 19, will now be played at five different locations – Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi, and Quetta.
Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan, Pakistan’s least populous but largest by area province, will host high-profile cricket for the first time since it hosted its lone ODI in 1996, a three-wicket Pakistan victory over Zimbabwe.
The newly formed 14-member management committee, which has replaced ousted PCB chairman Ramiz Raja, decided to increase the number of PSL sites. Prior to this, there were just four venues in the 2023 season plan.
“I am delighted that seven years after launching the Pakistan Super League, I am today announcing our commitment to add Bugti Stadium in Quetta as the fifth venue for our marquee event. Bugti Stadium is the home ground of Quetta Gladiators and we still remember the incredible scenes when the Gladiators visited the city after winning the 2019 tournament. The passionate cricket fans of Quetta have been waiting for a long to watch high-profile cricket in their backyard and I am pleased that we will now bring HBL PSL 8 matches to their doors. In this relation, I have already spoken with influential officials in the Balochistan province, who have assured me of their complete support from event delivery perspectives,” said Najam Sethi as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
Domestic cricket matches have been played in Quetta since 1954, although the city has frequently been overlooked because of poor infrastructure and declining security. Historically, Balochistan has not had as much of a following for cricket as other parts of Pakistan, and just one player from the province, opening batsman Shoaib Khan, has gone on to represent Pakistan. In 2008, he played four T20 Internationals while competing in a T20 Quadrangular in Canada.
The PCB received ownership of Bugti Stadium in 2001 under a contract that required it to make upgrades and maintain the facility. Bugti Stadium is actually a local government property.
The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan’s premier first-class competition, did not take place at the stadium for 27 years between 1977 and 2004 despite the stadium having held domestic games since 1954 but not on a regular basis. It hosted four first-class matches in 2019 following a further 12-year gap from 2007 to 2019. The weather has been highlighted as one of the main causes for the stadium’s inconsistent use; Pakistan’s domestic season lasts from October to March, while winter temperatures in Quetta hover between 4-6 degrees Celsius. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.