Safer, spectacular PSL2021 gets underway on Saturday

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Islamabad:    After successfully delivering over 235 matches in 11 domestic events in the 2020-21 season during the difficult and challenging Covid-19 pandemic, it’s time for the big one – the Pakistan Super League 6, which gets underway at the iconic National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday, 20 February, with the opener between defending champions Karachi Kings and 2019 winners Quetta Gladiators.
The event organisers have promised to make this marquee event more safer and spectacular than the other domestic events as six franchise teams will vie for the glittering trophy and a cash award of PKR80million from a total prize money of PKR112million.
With the event restricted to Karachi and Lahore, strict PCB Covid-19 Protocols will be followed in the stadiums, filled with a limited number of fans being around to cheer their favourite players on.
After hosting the full version of the fifth edition at home, the fact that the sixth event in the PSL history will be played in Pakistan once again means a lot of joy for the local fans. This is after the first four editions were played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) means a huge fillip to the tournament.
The fact that over the last couple of years the return of international cricket and the entire edition of the PSL is a huge tribute to the effort of the security establishment of the country, the efforts of the Federal Government and the untiring will and endeavours of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The overseas player contingent feels a lot safer to come over and play in Pakistan, which means that the re-integration is now complete.
The return of the crowds to the Pakistan Super League in the 2021 edition is a huge step-up after the final four league matches in the previous year were played in front of an empty stadium following the Covid-19 outbreak. Even during the play-offs there were no crowds at the National Stadium in Karachi, including the mouth-watering title clash between arch rivals Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars.
This time around, the first 20 Pakistan Super League 6 matches from February 20 to March 7 will be played in Karachi. Following a two-day break, the remaining 14 matches, including the March 22 final, will be staged in Lahore.
The good news for the fans is that 20 per cent will be allowed, some 7,500 in Karachi and around 5,500 in Lahore. More are expected to attend the play-offs and the final, health regulations permitting.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan is excited to welcome the country’s most talked about event.
“We are in the sixth year of Pakistan Super League (PSL) and it’s a matter of great pride for all of us that this edition will be safer and spectacular than ever before,” said Wasim Khan, adding: “We are thankful to the National Command and Operation Centre for allowing us to have 20 per cent fans during the matches. The presence of fans will lift the players and create a good atmosphere, something which embodies live sport.”
It has been a successful time for PCB who have managed to successfully stage all domestic and international matches in all age categories/across genders with strict PCB Covid-19 Protocols.
“Fittingly, the PSL 6 will be the culmination of a highly successful 2020-21 season. We are the only country that has successfully delivered over 235 matches to date in the season despite the challenges of Covid19.
“This shows our will to fulfill our obligations and commitments. Hopefully, when the final ball will be bowled in the PSL 6 on March 22, we would have delivered 275 matches from 16 events, which would be a monumental achievement,” said Wasim Khan.