KARACHI (Dunya News) – After successfully submitting more than 235 matches in 11 domestic matches in the 2020-21 season during the tough and challenging Covid-19 pandemic, it is time for the big – Pakistan Super League 6, which will take place at the iconic National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday, February 20, with an opening match between reigning champions Karachi Kings and 2019 winners Quetta Gladiators.
Event organizers have pledged to make this marquee event safer and more spectacular than any other domestic event as six franchise teams will be fighting over the sparkling trophy and cash prize of PKR80 million out of the total prize money of PKR112 million.
With events restricted in Karachi and Lahore, the strict PCB Covid-19 Protocol will be followed at the stadium, filled with a number of fans in attendance to support their favorite players.
Having hosted the full version of the fifth edition at home, the fact that the sixth event in PSL history will be played in Pakistan once again means a lot to local fans. This after the first four editions were played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) meant a big refresher for the tournament.
The fact that over the past few years the return of international cricket and the entire edition of the PSL is a great tribute to the efforts of establishing state security, the efforts of the Federal Government and the tireless will and efforts of Pakistan. Cricket Board (PCB).
Contingents of overseas players feel much safer to come and play in Pakistan, which means the reintegration is complete.
The return of spectators to the Pakistan Super League in the 2021 edition is a big step after the last four league matches the previous year were played in front of empty stadiums following the Covid-19 outbreak. Even during the play-offs there were no spectators at the National Stadium in Karachi, including the tantalizing title match between arch rivals Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars.
This time, the first 20 matches of the Pakistani Super League 6 from February 20 to March 7 will be played in Karachi. After a two-day break, the remaining 14 matches, including the March 22 final, will be played in Lahore.
The good news for fans is that 20 percent will be allowed, around 7,500 in Karachi and around 5,500 in Lahore. More are expected to attend the play-offs and finals, health regulations allow.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan was excited to welcome the country’s most talked about event.
“We are in the sixth year of the Pakistani Super League (PSL) and it is a great honor to all of us that this edition will be safer and more spectacular than ever,” said Wasim Khan, adding: “We are grateful to the National Command and Operations Center for allowing us to have 20 percent of fans during the game. A fan presence will lift the players and create a good atmosphere, something that embodies live sports. “
It is a successful time for PCB to successfully stage all domestic and international competitions across all age categories / across genders with the strict Covid-19 PCB Protocol.
“To be precise, PSL 6 will be the culmination of a very successful 2020-21 season. We are the only country that has managed to send more than 235 matches to date this season despite the Covid19 challenge.
“This shows our desire to fulfill our obligations and commitments. “Hopefully, when the final ball will be thrown at PSL 6 on March 22, we can send 275 matches from 16 events, which will be a monumental achievement,” said Wasim Khan.
As usual, the international star galaxy will add taste to local players.
For the first time ever, the Twenty20 magic spinner, Rashid Khan of Afghanistan will be seen in action during the tournament alongside his compatriots of mystery spinners including Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Qais Ahmad and Noor Ahmed.
England is represented by a group of short format specialists, such as Tom Banton, Adam Lyth, Alex Hales, Joe Clarke, James Vince, Samit Patel, Saqib Mahmood and Lewis Gregory
Australian T20 specialists – Chris Lynn, Dan Christian, Ben Cutting, Ben Dunk and Fawad Ahmed – will be here to showcase their skills this time
A Caribbean flavor will add to the tournament with the presence of Chris Gayle, Chadwick Walton, Sherfaine Rutherford and Carlos Brathwaite.
The South African players during the tournament will be David Miller, Colin Ingram, Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir and Cameron Delport.
Wasim Khan is delighted with the foreign players arriving for the sixth Pakistan Super League.
“The success of PSL has grown rapidly, and the fact that around 425 foreign players are registered for the draft and more than 50 of them will come to appear at PSL, is sufficient proof of that,” said Wasim Khan.
Local players will have the motivation to impress the selectors with their performances and enter the national team for the big event, ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2021 in October.
When you compare the relative strengths of the six franchises it becomes increasingly clear that it is almost impossible to decipher who could win them.
Two-time champion Islamabad United like a wounded tiger. They finished last in the previous edition, so look forward to a strong comeback from them as they have strengthened their outfit with the inclusion of Hasan Ali who is in form.
Champion of 2019 Quetta Gladiators will be excited to improve their fifth place finish in 2020 as they have recruited Gayle and Banton to solidify the top spot. Qais and Zahid Mahmood’s rounds of legs will also help stop rivals’ marches
Lahore Qalandars will be title-hungry after being runners-up in the 2020 event. They have the best bowling strike with Afghan superstar Rashid Khan and T20I Pakistan shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf in their lineup. Mohammad Hafeez’s form will also come in handy in hitting
Multan Sultan were top of the standings when the league was suspended due to Covid-19 last year and then lost ground when the play-offs were played. Under the currently in form Mohammad Rizwan, they will be the team to beat. Lynn and Lyth along with Shahid Afridi and Sohaib Maqsood will also provide a lot of firepower
Peshawar Zalmi also on the run after finishing without a title in the last three editions. Their captain Wahab Riaz is the leading goalkeeper in Pakistani Super League history and they now boast of rotating attacks with Afghan Mujeeb and young Abrar Ahmed. Veterans Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik will also aspire to finish high
Defending champion King of Karachi would be very interested in defending the title with all his might. At Wasim Akram, they have one of the best cricket brains cleverly planning with new Head Coach Herschelle Gibbs. They have a star-studded batting lineup at heartthrob Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan and Colin Ingram currently alongside a balanced bowling strike led by the hugely talented Mohammad Amir.
So fasten your seat belts and get ready for a tumultuous journey during the Pakistani Super League 6.