Back in March, the coronavirus pandemic made sure that the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) had to be postponed for an indefinite time period. A few matches were played closed doors as a precautionary measure after which the tournament halted. After the teams for the playoffs were decided the COVID-19 virus threatened to play spoilsport.
However, the T20 event is set on return on Saturday, November 14, much to the relief of the fans and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as well. All the matches will be played at the iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore with the final scheduled for Tuesday, November 17.
PSL deserves a winner, says PCB CEO
“This announcement puts speculations to bed and provides absolute clarity and ample time for teams to plan and prepare for these crunch matches. It was important at this stage to state our intent and lock these dates in the diary in the best interest of the teams and the tournament,” Wasim Khan, the PCB chief executive, was quoted as saying in Cricingif.
“The PCB was always keen and committed to hosting the remaining four matches as it believed an event of the magnitude of the HBL Pakistan Super League deserved a winner. We saw the excitement and buzz in the lead up to the competition earlier this year and look forward to promotional activations that will engage the fans once again,” he added.
The four teams for the playoffs are Multan Sultans, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi. The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Quetta Gladiators, the defending champions, couldn’t make the playoffs and ended as the cellar dwellers with three wins from 10 matches.
The Qalandars finished at the bottom of the points table in the first four seasons. But this time around, the team, led by Sohail Akhtar, made the playoffs, though they won only five of their 10 matches. The Sultans finished as the table-toppers, winning six of their games in the first round.
On November 14, the Sultans and Karachi Kings would be taking the field in the first playoff encounter. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hasnain are currently the leading run-scorer and top wicket-taker respectively.