The Pakistan Cricket Board, in a press release, has thanked the Karachi and Lahore fans for embracing the first-ever complete HBL Pakistan Super League in Pakistan by almost filing the National and Gaddafi stadium, respectively for each of the opening seven matches of the 34-match 32-day tournament.
The event has now taken a two-day break and resumes on Wednesday, 26 February, when Multan Sultans host Peshawar Zalmi at the Multan Cricket Stadium. The following day, Pindi Cricket Stadium will play host to Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators match. Both the fixtures will commence at 7pm.
“The PCB is overwhelmed with the excellent spectator response and turnaround at the two venues for the first seven matches. When the hosting of the complete HBL PSL 2020 was announced 12 months ago, this is exactly what the PCB had envisaged and the PCB is grateful to all the spectators for supporting its vision and endeavour.
“The PCB is encouraged with the response of ticket sales in Rawalpindi and Multan, and expects the two stadiums to be filled to their capacities in the 11 matches shared between these two new venues of HBL PSL.
“While there have been strong positives and, image and profile building initiatives, there have also been shortcomings and learnings. But these were not unexpected considering this is the biggest cricket spectacle in the history of Pakistan cricket and first major event since the 2008 Asia Cup. Staging and running events in the United Arab Emirates presents far lesser logistical, operational and practical issues.
“Hosting of any opening ceremony presents its own challenges. While a number of Pakistan cricket fans have been vocal in their disapproval about elements of the ceremony, a sizeable number of followers were pleased with the display. Being an evolving organisation, the PCB is keen to learn from these experiences to further improve the quality of events in the future.
“As far as the nationalities of the personnel involved in the production of the matches, the PCB wishes to clarify there is a diverse group of people who are ensuring images of our event, culture and passion is distributed across the globe. Most of these personnel have been regular visitors to Pakistan since 2015, albeit different production company.
“It must be remembered modern day high-tech broadcast technologies are neither locally available, nor are the personnel trained to operate these technologies. A goal identified at the outset by both PCB and our consortium partners of Tower Sports and SportzWorkz, was to start the process of developing local talent so that the country becomes self-reliant.
“Despite some disappointments, the HBL PSL firmly belongs to the people of our proud nation and, so, we are delighted that we have brought it back and are delivering it across four cities this year.
“The PCB will continue in its endeavours to add more venues in this league every year to make cricket accessible for fans around the country, which is in line with the PCB’s policy to take the game to every nook and corner of the country.”