Sports

Franchises worried as preparations for PSL 9 fall behind schedule

With two weeks to go before the start of the league, the preparations are going on at a very slow pace; there is concern among the franchises about who will be in charge. It could not be determined.

  The 9th edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) will start on February 17 2024 in Lahore. With just two weeks left for the league to start, preparations are progressing at a very slow pace, which is causing concern among the franchises. Instability in the PCB is cited as the reason for the ticket sale plan.

Will Ali Zafar sing the anthem or not? Finalisation of the opening ceremony is pending, but the broadcast deal has been finalised recently. No advertising campaign was conducted. On the other hand, it is becoming difficult for franchises to secure sponsorship deals. No one has unveiled the jersey yet. Earlier, most teams relied on surrogate advertising, but after government restrictions, they had limited options.

It is not yet decided whether PSL director Soheb Shaikh will be league commissioner Naila Bhatti or COO Salman Naseer who will be in charge of PSL 9. Sources have revealed that some PCB officials under Zaka Ashraf’s watch deliberately slowed down the process. Most of the officials believed that Najam Sethi would become the chairman again, but it did not happen.

The Prime Minister nominated Mohsin Naqvi for the Governing Board. On February 6, Interim Chairman and Election Commissioner Shah Khawar will oversee the selection of the new chief, who is likely to be Mohsin Naqvi. Shah Khawar and Salman Nasir left for Bali, Indonesia, for the ACC meeting, and both will come to the office on Friday. The work is likely to speed up after handing over the responsibilities to the elected chairman.

Sources have said that this time, the inauguration ceremony will be held on a smaller scale; its budget has been fixed at Rs 20 crore; last year, this amount was Rs 33 crore. Ali Zafar is most likely to sing the national anthem, but only one franchise, Multan Sultans, is opposed to it due to past incidents of harassment. Anthem will be released as soon as this issue is resolved.

Moreover, the work regarding ticketing is also going on. On the other hand, more than one franchise official, when contacted, admitted that the PSL 9 is extremely slow. He said that big international players will not participate in the league this time. So far, no hype has been created. However, national stars have made the league successful in the past, and they hope it will be the same this time as well. He said that after the start of the tournament, everything will start working automatically under the system. However, the PCB should be cautious. This is our biggest tournament. If there is any shortcoming, other leagues will overtake us.

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