Abu Dhabi Cricket signs five-year deal with Cricket League

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced that all the matches of the next season of Pakistan Super League will be played in Pakistan.

“I am not hoping, I am confident that all the matches of the next season of PSL will be played in Pakistan,” said PM Imran Khan during the ceremony.

All the games of the inaugural season of the PSL were played in the UAE in 2016. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board managed to host the final of the PSL 2017 at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, but not all international stars were willing to travel to the country.

PCB was looking revive international cricket in the country after the unfortunate terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009.

The cricket board saw hosting PSL matches in Pakistan as a source that could pave way for international cricket in Pakistan.

PM Imran Khan assures entire PSL will be held in Pakistan next year. Photo: PCB / PSL

The successful staging of the eight HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches in Karachi has lead Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to explore other options, with regards to cricket in the country.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced its plan to move the entire PSL to Pakistan next year, which means that United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be deprived of a large chunk of matches.

In order to compensate for this situation, Abu Dhabi Cricket has signed a five-year deal with the T10 league.

According to the deal, all the matches of the T10 league will now be played only at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium. The T10 league will also be renamed as the Abu Dhabi T10 league and will begin on October 23 this year.

Abu Dhabi & AbuDhabi SC has signed a historic deal to host the T10 League for 5 years from 2019 to 2023. Photo: Abu Dhabi Cricket

The first two seasons of the T10 league were quite popular among UAE fans, which took place at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. However, many fans missed out on the finals last season, due to the low capacity of the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.“We were already looking to expand the league to other venues as the capacity of Sharjah Cricket Stadium was not enough,” Shajiul Mulk, T10 league’s founder and chairman, said.

“When the Abu Dhabi deal transpired, we decided to hold it only at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, as the league is now in a position to move to a bigger venue.”

Matt Boucher, the acting Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi Cricket, decided to enter into a deal with T10 league, considering the possibility of PCB moving all their home matches back to Pakistan.

“We wanted to explore long term options, considering Pakistan might shift their bilateral series back to Pakistan, after the successful staging of eight PSL matches in Karachi,” Boucher said.

He added: “Having Shajiul Mulk onboard is what we wanted, as T10 is an exciting and innovative format which has gained massive popularity.”

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