The Pakistan Super League season 5 will get underway on February 20, 2020, Thursday and it will be a big occasion for the tournament, as it will be entirely played in Pakistan for the first time, since its inception in 2016. The entire first edition of the PSL in 2016 was staged in the UAE due to security concerns in the nation.
The second edition saw Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hosting the final of the tournament in the country with the remainder of the event was held in UAE. In 2018, four matches were organized at Lahore and Karachi, while the rest of the edition was played again in the UAE. Karachi hosted eight matches in the PSL 2019 edition. But with the security getting better in the country, Pakistan decided to hold the entire PSL 5 in the country.
36 foreign players have registered themselves to play for six local franchises – Quetta Gladiators, Islamabad United, Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi in this year’s tournament. One of those players is England’s Alex Hales and he made quite a funny dig at an unforeseen moment outside the stadium his team, the Karachi Kings were practicing in.
“Looks promising”, says Alex Hales on seeing smoke outside the stadium
England batsman Alex Hales took to his social media to share a picture from his training session – a picture that isn’t exactly a sight for sore eyes, waiting for the cricket extravaganza to begin in Pakistan. He posted a photo on his Instagram account showing smoke from a building far from the UBL Sports Complex in Karachi where he was training.
This cheeky response comes as a concern for foreign players, in the background of repeated assurances of security by the PCB and its chairman Ehsan Mani. The tournament opener will see Quetta Gladiators take on Islamabad United in Karachi. The National Stadium will host 9 out of 34 matches of the competition, while Lahore hosting 14, and Multan and Rawalpindi will host 3 and 8 matches respectively.
The Qualifier between the two top sides on the points table will be played in Karachi, while the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will be the venue of the two Eliminators and the final.