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Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani has said PCB was planning to organize 5th edition of Pakistan Super League in four cities - Multan, Rawalpindi, Karachi and Lahore. "On the assurance of DG ISPR Asif Ghafoor for the provision of all logistics to host one of the PSL-5 matches at Miranshah Cricket Stadium, PCB team will visit the place for final decision."
He was speaking to the journalists at National Stadium Karachi on Monday. Managing Director PCB Waseem Khan also accompanied him.
"We have gradually increased the number of matches in Pakistan from one to three to eight.
Mani said the HBL PSL had been designed as a vehicle to resume international cricket in Pakistan, which needs to be played across the country.
He was confident that PCB would have matches in country at more venues next year.
"In this relation, we will soon start our preparations for HBL PSL 2020 and in due course share plans on how we can increase fan participation by expanding the league. It is inevitable that more than eight matches at multiple venues will be held in Pakistan in 2020," he said.
Mani also thanked the die-hard cricket fans, the 39 foreign international players and all the local stars for making the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 an overwhelming success.
He termed the league as a 'resilient' event and said it had delivered all event objectives despite tough operational and logistical challenges caused due to reasons beyond the PCB's control.
Mani also thanked all the franchise owners and their players, as well as the Sindh Government and all the security agencies involved in providing a safe and secure environment for the commercial partners, players, spectators, officials, media and service providers for the eight Pakistan-leg matches played at the National Stadium.
"The fans made this a truly Pakistan event. Cricket euphoria gripped the entire country as the fans got behind the tournament and made this an overwhelming success," Mr Mani said, adding: "The fans not only enjoyed and celebrated the festival of cricket, but they also portrayed a very positive image of Pakistan.
Mani said despite facing severe mid-series operational and logistical challenges, the league didn't drop the ball at any stage and continued to maintain its very high standard and quality.
"The 2019 event has shown how resilient this league is. Having lost the production partner in the first week and then the fallout from last month's turn of events, to pull everything smoothly, flawlessly and professionally reflects the strength and power of this league.
"Shane Watson's decision to come to Karachi after having declined pre-event, is a testament of the confidence he had in the PCB and all the security agencies. It was also a validation that he too considered Karachi as a peaceful and cricket-loving city, while reinforcing his respect and commitment for the league."
He said the quality of cricket was from the top draw.
"The league lived up to the expectations of the fans and followers when it provided 15 last-over finishes. There were 21 matches in which scores of 170 or more were scored, while 404 runs were scored in the match between Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars. This high-quality cricket was played due to good batting surfaces."
PCB chairman thanked all the players for upholding the spirit of cricket.
"I want to extend my thanks to the franchisees and all the commercial partners, without whose contribution we would not have been able to put together an event which is now one of the most talked about events in the world.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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