PSL 2021 to get underway on February 20; final scheduled for March 22
Mohammad Amir of Karachi Kings. (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The 2021 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is scheduled to get underway on February 20 with the final on March 22. The development was confirmed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, the National Stadium in Karachi and Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will play hosts to the matches for the tournament.

Even as Karachi will host the first half of the PSL 2021, Lahore will host the second half. However, a decision on allowing fans at the venues hasn’t been taken just yet. The last few matches in the 2020 PSL was played behind closed doors.

PCB to conduct PSL 2021 in a ‘safe and healthy environment’

“We had to make the tough decision to limit matches to Karachi and Lahore, and this decision has been taken in the larger interest of the event, participants and the country,” Babar Hamid, Director- Commercial, was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz.

“We want to limit the unnecessary exposure of the players as much as practically possible so that the players can operate in a safe and healthy environment that, in turn, will allow them to continue to entertain the fans and followers with their talent, skills and gamesmanship,” he stated.

“Although we have a couple of options on the table, the PCB will continue to monitor the situation and delay the decision as late as possible on crowd attendances as for the PCB, health and lives are of utmost importance,” he further added.

The draft for the tournament is set to take place on Sunday, January 10 in Lahore. A number of big players like Rashid Khan, Chris Gayle, Dale Steyn and Mustafizur Rahman will be taking part.

PSL 2020 had its fair share of troubles. The league games took place in February and March, but the coronavirus pandemic halted proceedings before the playoffs. Back in November, the playoffs and the final took place at the National Stadium.

The Karachi Kings, captained by Imad Wasim, became the champions for the maiden time. They beat the Lahore Qalandars in the final. It was also the maiden final for the Qalandars. Multan Sultans, who topped the points table, bowed out after losing back-to-back matches.