Following an encouraging response from cricket followers, sponsors and partners, PCB now plans to make the inaugural season of Pakistan Junior League starting from 1 October this year a carnival like event. Celebrities, musicians, singers, and entrepreneurs will be invited to collaborate with the PCB and franchises to attract more audience.
Earlier in April this year, PCB released expression of interest document for the Pakistan Junior League. While sharing the details with media, chairman PCB Ramiz Raja told “This will be a city-based league with players to be selected through a draft system involving international age-group cricketers. The PCB will create an environment of brilliance with legends and icons of the game sitting in player dug-outs in the roles of mentors and coaches, and broadcast coverage from the top draw.”
Six city-based franchise teams will compete in the 19-match competition from 1–15 October at the Gaddafi Stadium. The players will be picked through a draft system, and each dugout will have an iconic player who will serve as the team’s mentor or coach.
Teams will be named after those cities which are not part of PSL.
“The feedback has strengthened my belief and confidence that we have a huge appetite for cricket and a strong commercial market, which is keen, eager and happy to partner with the PCB on its projects of introducing new properties so that we can strengthen ourselves financially and commercially, and the return on investments are shared with all cricketers.” Ramiz Raja tell media.
Javed Miandad, Darren Sammy, Shoaib Malik, and Shahid Afridi are selected as the icons and mentors of the Pakistan Junior League by the PCB. Former cricketers have lauded PCB’s initiative.
In a video message, the former West Indian skipper said: “It’s going to be exciting, and it’s a place where you can see the future of cricket. Wow, you cannot afford to miss it, and I am super excited to be one of the mentors of the league and get to see the talent forehand and extend my knowledge to them.”
Shoaib Malik also shared his excitement for the upcoming league in a video message saying “This is something that’s happening for the first time, and we should all appreciate PCB for the initiative. I will share all I have learned with the U-19 players, and October will be great fun.”
PTV and PCB have also agreed upon a deal and PTV Sports will televise all matches of the inaugural session of Pakistan Junior League which is set to be played in Lahore in October. Title sponsorship, category partnership and franchise rights are yet to be sold.