We are all set to witness the 8th edition of Pakistan’s T20 league, known as the Pakistan Super League. The league will be played in 4 different cities in Pakistan for more than a month. Several superstars from Pakistan and other countries will be in action.
Here, you will get to know each and everything about the PSL. We will tell you about the history, venues, format, and match timings. We will also let you know about the participating teams and the complete schedule of the tournament.
So, without any further ado, let’s get right into it.
In 2015, Pakistan Cricket Board announced the launching of their T20 league, named Pakistan Super League. The first edition of the league was played with 5 teams in 2015. The included teams were Islamabad United, Lahore Qalandars, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, and Quetta Gladiators. The teams were based on 4 provincial capitals and the federal capital.
The league introduced the drafting system instead of the bidding system. The players were assigned different categories, which included the Platinum, Diamond, Gold, Silver, and Emerging category. The salaries of the players depend upon the category assigned to them. Each team picked players in each category to form their squad. The same drafting system is still used in the league.
Addition of the 6th Team
After the first couple of seasons, PCB decided to add one more team to the league. The representatives from Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan, FATA, Hyderabad, and Faisalabad asked for a team based on their city. But, the 6th team in the Pakistan Super League was named Multan Sultans, which participated in the PSL for the first time in 2018.
Winners of Each Season
The inaugural edition of the Pakistan Super League was won by Islamabad United. Then, Peshawar Zalmi clinched the title in 2017. Islamabad United won their second trophy in 2018 to make it two in three. After losing the finals of the first two PSL editions, Quetta Gladiators eventually became the champions of PSL 2019.
In the first 4 years, Lahore Qalandars finished at the bottom of the table each time. Karachi Kings was the other team who had gone trophyless in 4 seasons. But, PSL 2020 saw a PSL final between Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars, with Karachi emerging victorious. Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars won the PSL 2021 and PSL 2022, respectively. So, all 6 PSL teams have claimed the title at least once, with Islamabad United getting it twice.
Cricket Returning to Pakistan
Image Source: tribune.com.pk
One of the prime purposes of starting the Pakistan Super League was to bring cricket back into the country. Since the 2009 Karachi attack on the Sri Lankan team, International matches were not held in the country. The first season of the league was played in the United Arab Emirates. In the second season in 2018, the final was played in Lahore.
Next year, PCB decided to hold the playoffs and the final in Karachi and Lahore. 2020 was a big year for the league, as the whole tournament was held in Pakistan. PSL 2021 was also scheduled in Pakistan, but after the postponement of the league due to COVID-19, the remaining matches were played in Abu Dhabi. PSL 2022 was peacefully held in Pakistan, and now we hope all the same for PSL 2023.
PSL 2023 Teams
The 8th edition of the Pakistan Super League will be played between 6 teams. Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans (who were also the finalists of the previous year) will represent the province of Punjab. Quetta Gladiators is the team of the Quetta province, while Peshawar Zalmi is from Khyber-Pakhtunhwa. The 6th team is Islamabad United which represents the federal capital.
PSL 2023 Venues
PSL 2023 will be played completely in Pakistan. 4 different venues have been chosen for this purpose. Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium will host the most number of matches (11). National Stadium Karachi will host 9 games in the first half of the league. Gaddafi Stadium Lahore will also host 9 matches, including the playoffs and the final. The remaining 5 matches will be played in Multan Cricket Stadium.
PSL 2023 Format
PSL has adopted the classic franchise league format. The league stages will be based on a double round-robin format. Each team will play every other team twice before the playoffs. Therefore, every team will be playing 10 games in the league stages. 2 points will be awarded to the team winning a match. If a match doesn’t produce any result, the points will be shared (1 point to each team).
The 4 teams with the highest points will qualify for the playoff stages. If two teams tie on the points, the team with the better net run rate will proceed to the next stage. Then, the two top teams in the points table will play each other in the first qualifier. The winning side will qualify for the finals, and the losing team will have one more chance.
The 3rd and 4th position teams will contest in the first eliminator. The losing team will be out of the race for the final. Whereas the winning team will lock horns with the loser of the first qualifier. The winner of this match will play the winning team of the first qualifier in the final. The side that loses this game will also get ruled out of the tournament.
PSL 2023 Schedule
Underlying is the complete schedule of the league, along with the match timings, match day, and the venue:
Match # Teams Date Day Match Time (Local) Venue
1 Multan Sultans vs Lahore Qalandars Feb 13 Monday 7:30 PM Multan Cricket Stadium
2 Karachi Kings vs Peshawar Zalmi Feb 14 Tuesday 6:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
3 Multan Sultans vs Quetta Gladiators Feb 15 Wednesday 5:30 PM Multan Cricket Stadium
4 Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United Feb 16 Thursday 6:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
5 Multan Sultans vs Peshawar Zalmi Feb 17 Friday 5:30 PM Multan Cricket Stadium
6 Karachi Kings vs Quetta Gladiators Feb 18 Saturday 6:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
7 Multan Sultans vs Islamabad United Feb 19 Sunday 1:30 PM Multan Cricket Stadium
8 Karachi Kings vs Lahore Qalandars Feb 19 Sunday 5:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
9 Quetta Gladiators vs Peshawar Zalmi Feb 20 Monday 6:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
10 Quetta Gladiators vs Lahore Qalandars Feb 21 Tuesday 6:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
11 Multan Sultans vs Karachi Kings Feb 22 Wednesday 5:30 PM Multan Cricket Stadium
12 Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United Feb 23 Thursday 6:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
13 Quetta Gladiators vs Islamabad United Feb 24 Friday 6:30 PM National Stadium Karachi
14 Karachi Kings vs Multan Sultans Feb 26 Sunday 1:00 PM National Stadium Karachi
15 Lahore Qalandars vs Peshawar Zalmi Feb 26 Sunday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
16 Lahore Qalandars vs Islamabad United Feb 27 Monday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
17 Peshawar Zalmi vs Karachi Kings Mar 1 Wednesday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
18 Lahore Qalandars vs Quetta Gladiators Mar 2 Thursday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
19 Islamabad United vs Karachi Kings Mar 3 Friday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
20 Lahore Qalandars vs Multan Sultans Mar 4 Saturday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
21 Islamabad United vs Quetta Gladiators Mar 5 Sunday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
22 Quetta Gladiators vs Karachi Kings Mar 6 Monday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
23 Peshawar Zalmi vs Lahore Qalandars Mar 7 Tuesday 1:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
24 Islamabad United vs Multan Sultans Mar 7 Tuesday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
25 Peshawar Zalmi vs Quetta Gladiators Mar 8 Wednesday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
26 Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars Mar 9 Thursday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
27 Peshawar Zalmi vs Multan Sultans Mar 10 Friday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
28 Quetta Gladiators vs Multan Sultans Mar 11 Saturday 6:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
29 Islamabad United vs Peshawar Zalmi Mar 12 Sunday 1:30 PM Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
30 Lahore Qalandars vs Karachi Kings Mar 12 Sunday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
31 TBC vs TBC, Qualifier Mar 15 Wednesday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
32 TBC vs TBC, Eliminator 1 Mar 16 Thursday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
33 TBC vs TBC, Qualifier 2 Mar 17 Friday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
34 TBC vs TBC, Final Mar 19 Sunday 6:30 PM Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
PSL 2023 Key Dates
PSL 2023 will kickstart on the 13th of February. The previous year’s finalists, Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans, will play in the league’s opener. The final game of the league stage will be played between Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings on the 12th of March.
The first qualifier is scheduled for the 15th of March. It will be followed by the first eliminator on March 16. Then, the second eliminator will be played on March 17. The tournament will conclude with the final being played on the 19th of March.
PSL 2023 Match Timings
Most of the games in PSL 8 will be night games. Only 4 out of 34 matches will be played in the daytime. The night games in Rawalpindi, Karachi, and Lahore will start at 6:30 PM. The first match of the season will start at 7:30 PM, while the night games in Multan will kickstart at 5:30 PM. The day games in Multan will begin at 1:00 PM, while they will begin at 1:30 PM in Karachi. The three playoff matches and the Final will start at 6:30 PM.
PSL 2023 Top 5 Players
Underlying are the top 5 players in the upcoming Pakistan Super League season 8:
The current Pakistan captain is the highest run-scorer in PSL history. He also holds the record for most fifties in the PSL. Babar was Player of the Match in the final and the qualifier of the PSL 2020 when his previous team Karachi Kings won the title. He has been a consistent performer in every season of the league, and we will expect the same this year.
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Image Source: zeenews.india.com
Shaheen was the leading wicket-taker in the previous season of the PSL. He is also the skipper of the Lahore Qalandars and led them to their maiden title last year. He is a force to reckon with the new ball, and batters find it hard to get through his opening spell.
Mohammed Rizwan has been the Mr. Consistent in T20 cricket for the last 2 years. He is currently the #2 ranked T20I batter and was the 2nd highest run-getter in the last 2 PSL seasons. It’s quite likely for him to finish as one of the top 3 run-scorers this season as well.
Shadab Khan is the most valuable player in the PSL 2023. Not only does he bowls 4 key overs for his side, but he also holds the batting lineup together. He is the highest wicket-taker amongst the spinners in tournament history, and now he contributes equally well with the bat.
With more than 500 T20 wickets at the age of 21, Rashid Khan is building his own legacy. He is one of the most in-demand T20 players in franchise cricket. He was in brilliant form in the last PSL season and made an impact with both bat and ball.