Pakistan news January 10, 2013

Pakistan T20 League not to be underestimated - Lorgat

Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC chief executive, has said the value of the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL), Pakistan's franchise-based Twenty20 competition, could be in "excess of $100 million". Lorgat, who was involved by the PCB to assist the board in setting up the league, was speaking during a PCB ceremony in Lahore to unveil the logo for the PSL which is scheduled to be launched on March 26 this year.

"People should not underestimate the potential of the Twenty20 league in Pakistan," Lorgat said. "With the rising popularity of T20 cricket, every ICC member country has the right to host its own professional league. Pakistan has done hardwork and I hope with foreign players' participation, perceptions about the country will change. I can see a lot of work has been done in parallel against many odds, but certainly this league will be come into reality shortly."

The PCB announced that each team in the PSL would be allowed to sign a maximum of six overseas players and would include 10 local cricketers plus two emerging players.

The tournament would be played over 15 days between five teams and would involve a total of 23 matches for the first three years. The matches will be played at a single venue, with teams playing each other twice in a league format before the top four teams qualify for semi-finals. The PCB has ambitious plans to expand the league in the fourth year to eight teams and a 59-match tournament.

Although the names of the region/city-based franchises or the list of companies interested in buying these franchises were not revealed, the PCB is hopeful of completing the franchise-auction process and signing a broadcast deal before the end of February.

"A lot of hard work has been put in place to develop the PSL," Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman said. "The objective is to recognise the growth of T20 cricket around the world, encourage our cricketers and give them the exposure to the grass-root talent in the country. It will also provide opportunity to foreign players to compete in Pakistan."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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