Pakistan domestic news July 4, 2011

Afghanistan could play in Pakistan domestic T20

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan are hoping to invite Afghanistan to take part in their next domestic Twenty20 tournament, likely to be held in September-October this year.

The tournament, according to the PCB's domestic head Sultan Rana, will be the calendar's full version with all 11 regions (and 13 teams as Karachi and Lahore have two teams) involved, unlike the recently-concluded Super Eight T20 which involved just the top eight sides of the country. If it goes ahead as scheduled it will be the third domestic T20 tournament held in one calendar year, an indication of just how popular the format is.

"We are aiming to organise the next one in September and we'll have all the regions in it, as well as hopefully Afghanistan," Rana told ESPNcricinfo. In May Afghanistan became the first international side to tour Pakistan since the 2009 terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore. They played a series of three 50-over games against the Pakistan 'A' side, losing all three.

As with the Super Eight, the tournament will be held away from the bigger centres of Karachi and Lahore, where all the previous T20s had been held, in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad instead. "The response we got from the crowds in Faisalabad was so good that we feel it will be good to again go to the smaller centres and host it there," Rana said. "We were missing a few crowd-pullers for the event and yet we still managed excellent crowds."

Evening games and the semi-finals and final at Iqbal Stadium were jam-packed through the week-long event, crowds coming in despite a nominal ticket charge for entry (in previous tournaments in Lahore and Karachi entry was free). "I don't think we could've asked for more from the event," Rana said. "We're most satisfied as far as the operations and execution of the event went and in this case, the local district government and security forces did really well."

The tournament also managed to pull in private sector sponsorship for each of the eight sides and Rana hopes that development can be built upon. "That was particularly pleasing for us," he said. "The market here is not as developed as it is in other cricket-playing countries but this was an indication that things can be improved. People are willing to take it on and I think the sponsors got great coverage out of it for themselves as well.

"We've received calls from people around the world about how much they enjoyed the tournament. Cricket is the only uniting force in this country and this format provides so much entertainment to fans here, it gives them something to cheer about, so we're really pleased with the results."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • surajit on July 7, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    It is very good to see Afghanistan in the tournament. It is good for their development.

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Let us wait for the official announcement. It is not yet confirmed if Afg plays there.

  • Amjad on July 5, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    They should buy players form Afghanistan for this season/league only or else they can add a club from Afghanistan. Both will support Afghan cricket & Pakistan domestic cricket.

  • balu on July 5, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    I am really happy with pakistan helping its neighbour for devolping them into cricketing nation I hope a rivalry matches PAK vs AFG in some 5 to 10 years

  • Ebadullah on July 5, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Ebadullah Shinwarie: i think its the best chance for pakistan to have a kind of tournaments in the country and invite the other teams like Afghanistan. it will motivate the other teams to traval Pakistan and will satisfy for them according to security issue. we hope that this tournament will be the major key for bringing International cricket back to Paksitan.

  • Zabihullah on July 5, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    This is a great idea and a very important opportunity for Afghanistan. They have to take full advantages of it and bring more joy for the nation.

  • Cricinfouser on July 4, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    It is a great Idea and I am certain that If the smaller teams (Zimbabwe, Ireland, Scottland, Holland, Kenya, UAE and Canada)s are invited to the event, it can turn out to be much better than IPL and International cricket will restore soon. It will also bring a lot sponsorship and PCB can get out of the hole they are in.

  • MANU on July 4, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    Good to see Pak invit Afg for domestic tournaments.Similarly,India should invite Nepal,China and Aus should invite PNG for domestic tournaments.

  • Rakesh on July 4, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    Very good move. After 2 years they should include two teams from Afghanistan. Sports can be a great instrument for progress. Afghanistancricket is likely to be the most exciting team for sports in general and great advert for cricket globally. It can show how cricket can transform society due to its real sporting laws unlike other sports which are just rough and tough only without essetial soft skills.

  • Muhammad Umair on July 4, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    best tournament in pakistani circuit that just ended... great fun to watch it

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