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Monday, April 15, 2024

PM Directs Comprehensive PSL-9 Strategy

Caretaker PM Kakar directs a comprehensive PSL-9 strategy, emphasizing national dignity, talent promotion, and cricket infrastructure development, while Fakhar Zaman clarifies his PSL retention status, and PCB outlines plans for solar-powered stadiums and women's cricket promotion.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar chaired a meeting to discuss the affairs of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and directed the formulation of a comprehensive strategy for organizing Pakistan Super League Season 9 (PSL-9) cricket matches across the country.

The PCB officials informed the Prime Minister that PSL-9 is scheduled for February 2024, with matches planned in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Multan. Emphasizing the need to prioritize the country’s interest and dignity, PM Kakar stressed efficient elections for the Cricket Board Management Committee and urged the promotion of cricket in remote areas.

PM Kakar highlighted the abundant cricket talent in various regions, including Sindh, Balochistan, South Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s newly merged districts, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

Kakar directed the immediate start of restoration work for Quetta’s Bugti Stadium and Peshawar’s Arbab-e Niaz Stadium, proposing Gwadar Cricket Stadium and Pissan Stadium in Gilgit-Baltistan as potential venues. The Prime Minister also called for a survey of Pissan Stadium and the development of new cricket stadiums with modern facilities, international standard hotels, and shopping areas to promote tourism.

Furthermore, PM Kakar instructed the PCB to take over four cricket grounds in Islamabad for cricket development. The meeting highlighted plans for Pakistan hosting the Cricket Champions Trophy and informed about the increased number of cricket associations in the country from six to 16. Cricket infrastructure construction is underway in various cities, with Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, National Stadium Karachi, and Multan Stadium converting to solar energy. Measures for promoting women’s cricket in Pakistan were also discussed during the meeting.

Fakhar Zaman’s PSL Retention Status Revealed

In the lead-up to the HBL PSL Player Draft 2024, Fakhar Zaman, the experienced opener, clarified that although he was released as a formality, he would continue to play for Lahore Qalandars.

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The reigning champions Lahore Qalandars, retaining players like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Sikandar Raza, and others, surprisingly did not retain Fakhar Zaman. However, the Right to Match Card during the draft allows teams to reclaim any released player. Fakhar Zaman’s manager handles his social media accounts.

PCB Development Plans and Cricket Promotions

The meeting attended by Federal Minister for Privatisation Fawad Hasan Fawad, PCB Chairman Muhammad Zaka Ashraf, and others discussed Pakistan’s cricket development plans. Construction of cricket infrastructure is underway in multiple cities, and notable stadiums are being converted to solar energy.

The meeting also addressed the promotion of women’s cricket in Pakistan, emphasizing the country’s commitment to hosting the Cricket Champions Trophy. Former PCB member Shakil Shaikh lauded PM Kakar’s firm stance and principled approach during the meeting, noting the directive to improve PCB’s performance and immediate elections.