Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has revealed that he was delighted to see 425 overseas players sign up to play in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Mani’s comments come after the schedule for this year’s tournament, which will be held entirely in Pakistan, was announced on Wednesday.
It revealed that the PSL will begin on February 20 and confirmed that the opening match will be between the Quetta Gladiators, who are the reigning champions, and Islamabad United in Karachi.
Mani noted that an increasing number of foreign players are starting to believe that it is safe to play cricket in Pakistan, given how many put their names forth for the competition.
“The HBL Pakistan Super League 2020 will feature 36 foreign stars. It was gratifying that 425 overseas players from 22 countries registered their interest in playing in the HBL PSL 2020,” Mani was quoted as saying by the PCB’s website. “Of these, 39 from Afghanistan, 12 from Australia, 23 from Bangladesh, 10 from Canada, 109 from England, seven from Hong Kong, six from Ireland, seven from the Netherlands, eight from Nepal, 11 from New Zealand, nine from Oman, five from Scotland, four from Singapore, 27 from South Africa, 39 from Sri Lanka, nine from the UAE, six from the USA, 82 from the West Indies, 9 from Zimbabwe and one each from Bermuda, Kenya and Namibia.
“This shows the confidence that players throughout the world have in playing in Pakistan.
“Through this event, we expect economy and tourism to get significant boost, which will have a direct impact on the overall health of the country.
“For the fans, this will be a long-awaited opportunity to see their cricketing heroes live in action and reinforce their love for this great game. I am expecting like last year, the entire country will get behind this tournament and by turning up in big numbers, they will once again show the world their passion for cricket.
“For the PCB itself, the schedule announcement means we will now work flat-out until the final ball is bowled to ensure we produce an event that is memorable for all stakeholders, including the players, commercial partners, fans and media.
“I want to especially thank the local governments and security agencies for their support and assistance. They have gone out of their way to facilitate the PCB in bringing HBL PSL back to Pakistan, for which we are grateful.”