New format for Quaid-e-Azam Trophy
The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's premier domestic four-day tournament that gets underway today, has had a number of changes made to its format.
The event will feature twenty two teams, split into two divisions. Twelve teams - the six best regional sides and departmental sides based on last year's results - will constitute division one. At the end of the league phase, the lowest-placed regional and departmental sides will be relegated to division two.
Seven regional sides and three departmental sides - Khan Research Laboratories, Pakistan Television and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) - make up Division Two. The best departmental side of these three will get promoted to Division One, while the one that finishes lowest will not be able to play next year's tournament. Pakistan Television are making their debut in the event, while SBP return to the first-class circuit after 27 years.
Both divisions will conclude with finals which will, however, have no bearing on promotion or relegation.
Division One: Faisalabad, Habib Bank Limited, Islamabad, National Bank of Pakistan, Multan, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, Rawalpindi, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, Sialkot, Water and Power Development Authority, Karachi Blues and Pakistan International Airlines
Division Two: Abbottabad, Pakistan Television, Hyderabad, Quetta, Lahore Ravi, State Bank of Pakistan, Peshawar, Lahore Shalimar, Karachi Whites and Khan Research Laboratories