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LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday announced match officials for the HBL Pakistan Super League-8, which will be played across four venues from February 13 to March 19.

The Multan and Karachi-leg matches will be held from February 13-26, before action shifts to Lahore and Rawalpindi where 20 matches will be played from February 26 to March 19.

Three members of the ICC’s elite panel of umpires – Aleem Dar, Richard Illingworth and Michael Gough – will be accompanied by Ahsan Raza, Asif Yaqoob, Rashid Riaz, Faisal Khan Afridi, Martin Saggers, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Alex Wharf and Shozab Raza. They will be supported by Muhammad Asif, Nasir Hussain and Tariq Rasheed, who will be involved in fourth umpire’s role.

Roshan Mahanama, former member of the ICC’s elite panel of match referees, will return for the eighth successive year and will lead a team of five match referees with other members being Ali Naqvi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Javed Malik and Muhammad Anees.

Wharf, who played 13 ODIs for England, and Saggers, who featured in three Tests for England, will make their HBL PSL debuts along with Sri Lanka’s Palliyaguruge. The three are members of the ICC’s international panel of umpires. For Gough, it will be his fourth appearance in HBL PSL, while it will be Illingworth’s sixth HBL PSL.

The opening match between defending champions Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans in Multan will be umpired by Asif Yaqoob and Martin Saggers, while Faisal Afridi will be the third umpire and Shozab Raza as fourth umpire. Mohammad Anees will be the match referee.

Ali Naqvi will lead the Playing Control Team for the Karachi Kings versus Peshawar Zalmi match in Karachi on 14 February. Ahsan Raza and England’s Alex Wharf will be the on-field umpires, Ruchira Palliyaguruge third umpire and Tariq Rasheed fourth umpire.

Meanwhile, the PCB has also confirmed a panel of 15 commentators and two presenters for the 34-match tournament. Alan Wilkins, Bazid Khan, Danny Morrison, Daren Ganga, Dominic Cork, Mark Butcher, Nick Knight, Sana Mir, Sikandar Bakht, Simon Doull, Urooj Mumtaz, Vernon Philander and Waqar Younis will commentate in English, while Marina Iqbal and Tariq Saeed will be Urdu commentators. Erin Holland and Zainab Abbas will be the presenters.

For the HBL PSL 8, two full production kits and crews will be operational simultaneously. This will only be the second time since HBL PSL 5 and the first time in the post-Covid era. In non-broadcast territories, the HBL PSL 8 will be available at the HBL PSL’s official YouTube and Facebook channels.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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