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PCB launches Twenty20 Super League with unveiling of logo

11 January, 2013

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is launching Twenty20 Super League in March this year. The logo of the T20 Super League was unveiled at a colourful ceremony at a local hotel here on Thursday with PCB chairman Mohammad Zaka Ashraf, former International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Pakistan captains Mohammad Hafeez, Misbahul Haq and managing director of the League Salman Sarwar Butt also present on the occasion.

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The PCB hopes the T20 competition can revive international cricket in the troubled country. There has been no top-class international cricket in Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in March 2009, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding seven visiting players. Foreign teams have shunned the country over security fears, leaving Pakistan to play their home series in England and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The PCB plans to host the T20 Super League on the lines of the glitzy, cash-rich Indian Premier League, which has featured more than 100 foreign players since its inception in 2008.

Speaking on the occasion, Lorgat, who is acting as adviser to the new T20 League, said he hoped the participation of foreign players would help Pakistan in a big way. Lorgat served as the ICC chief executive for four years before stepping down at the end of June 2012. He is laos assisting Sri Lanka Cricket as a special advisor to help the board revamp its domestic cricket structure and improve the administration of cricket in the country. “With the rising popularity of T20 cricket, every ICC member country has the right to host its own league. Pakistan has done hard work and I hope with foreign players' participation, perceptions about the country will change,” Lorgat maintained. Lorgat sees the League as a stepping-stone for the revival of international cricket in the country and said it needed to exploit the shortest format of the game on a commercial scale. “It's a good stepping-stone, if international players come in personal capacity to play. Many of them can experience it themselves that cricket can be played at a secured venue and there's no reason why they can't convince the member boards to send their national teams.”

Cash-rich League to lure international cricketers: PCB chief Zaka showed optimism and said that $100 million cash-rich T20 League will lure international cricketers to come to Pakistan. “It is going to be a historic moment in Pakistan cricket as with launching of our League we will be the cause of cricket in Pakistan,” he added. “The proposed dates of the League are March 26 to April 7 and five teams will take part in the event with each team having six foreign players,” he said. He said the matches would be played at one venue that will be announced in due course of time.

Zaka said the League would go a long way in helping local cricketers, as they would get a chance to play with the big names of the game. “The five participating teams will be named after different cities of Pakistan.”

To a question, the PCB chief replied if Indian and Bangladesh cricketers stayed away from the League then there were others boards with whom the PCB had good relations and they were ready to send their players. Salman Butt gave a detailed presentation of the event and said with the passage of time it would become a regular feature in Pakistan cricket and efforts would be made to make it an attractive and profit making venture.

End.