Pak to or­gan­ise 10 day-night first-class matches this sea­son

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LAHORE—Pak­istan’s first-class sea­son will wit­ness 10 day-night af­fairs in the 2016-17 sea­son of the Quaid-e-Azam Tro­phy.

The de­ci­sion, re­ported by , is taken to pre­pare coun­try’s top-crick­eters for the first day-night Test to be played at Bris­bane dur­ing the tour of Aus­tralia later this year.

The for­mat of the Quaid-e-Azam tro­phy has been re­tained from last year; it had changed al­most ev­ery sec­ond year on av­er­age, and last sea­son’s re­vamp was the third such change in the last five years. There has been a change in the one-day struc­ture though. The Na­tional One-Day Cup, which fea­tured 16 teams divided into two pools last sea­son, has now been split into two tour­na­ments - one with eight re­gional teams and the other with eight de- part­ment teams. The Pak­istan Cup, which re­placed the Pen­tan­gu­lar Cup re­cently, will con­tinue to have five pro­vin­cial teams. The do­mes­tic sea­son will kick-off with the Na­tional Su­per Eight T20 Cup in the last week of Au­gust.

The top 12 teams of the last sea­son — six re­gional and six depart­men­tal — will au­to­mat­i­cally se­cure berths and the last four spots will be filled by the 14 teams af­ter con­test­ing in a qual­i­fi­ca­tion round.

In an extraordinary move, the Pak­istan Cricket Board has in­creased the play­ers’ match fees by 100 per cent. Mean­ing that the play­ers com­pet­ing for the re­gional fee will earn 50 pc of the in­ter­na­tional match fee of the for­mat.

The cricket board has been ex­per­i­ment­ing with the pink ball for last six sea­sons. The last day-night af­fair on Pak­istani soil re­ceived wide crit­i­cism by the ex­perts and crick­eters due to the in­vis­i­bil­ity of the ball.

The fi­nal of the said tro­phy be­tween United Bank Lim­ited (UBL) and Sui North­ern Gas Pipe­lines Lim­ited (SNGPL) ear­lier this year saw the max­i­mum to­tal of only 238 runs by the Mis­bah-led SNGPL which went on to win the match by 6 wick­ets.

Though the PCB was pleased with the trial, the ma­jor con­cern among the play­ers was the vis­i­bil­ity of the ball and its qual­ity once it got older. Most of the play­ers backed hav­ing more games with the pink ball to get fa­mil­iar with its be­hav­iour.— APP

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