190914 Ehsan Mani
Ehsan Mani Image Credit: Supplied

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) kept their promises to the fans when they announced the schedule of the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 with all 34 matches to be played across four international venues of the country from February 20 to March 22.

Reigning champions Quetta Gladiators will take on two-time former winners Islamabad United at the National Stadium in Karachi in the tournament opener, while curtains will fall on the fifth edition on March 22 at the Gaddafi Stadium.

National Stadium will also play host to the Qualifier between the top two sides whereas the Gaddafi Stadium will be the venue of the two Eliminators and the final. Of the 34 event matches, National Stadium will stage nine matches and Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium will play host to 14 matches. Multan Sultans will play three games at the Multan Cricket Stadium, while Pindi Cricket Stadium will be the venue for eight matches.

Quetta will play three matches in Lahore, four in Karachi, one in Multan and two in Rawalpindi; while Peshawar Zalmi, the 2017 winners and the 2019 losing finalists, will be in action in one match each in Lahore and Multan, three in Karachi and five in Rawalpindi.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said: “After bringing Test cricket back to Pakistan, hosting of the entire HBL Pakistan Super League is our other major achievement. I never had any doubts it was Pakistan’s league and should be played in front of home crowds. We had made this commitment to the people of Pakistan at the end of last year’s event and I am pleased today we have announced the event schedule with four centres to share the 34 event matches between them.

“The HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 will feature 36 foreign stars. It was gratifying that 425 overseas players from 22 countries registered their interest in playing in the HBL PSL 2020. Of these, 39 from Afghanistan, 12 from Australia, 23 from Bangladesh, 10 from Canada, 109 from England, seven from Hong Kong, six from Ireland, seven from the Netherlands, eight from Nepal, 11 from New Zealand, nine from Oman, five from Scotland, four from Singapore, 27 from South Africa, 39 from Sri Lanka, nine from the UAE, six from the USA, 82 from the West Indies, 9 from Zimbabwe and one each from Bermuda, Kenya and Namibia”, he added.

“This shows the confidence that players throughout the world have in playing in Pakistan”, said Mani, adding: “Through this event, we expect economy and tourism to get significant boost, which will have a direct impact on the overall health of the country”.