World Cup hosts Qatar set sights on Pak­istan Su­per League

The Pak Banker - - INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS/SPORTS -

Football World Cup 2022 host Qatar is poised to move into the lu­cra­tive in­ter­na­tional Twenty20 cricket mar­ket as the venue for the inau­gu­ral Pak­istan Su­per League, of­fi­cials said Tues­day.

The head of the Qatar Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion, Gul Khan said there was a "70 per cent" chance Doha would host the tour­na­ment, to be played in Fe­bru­ary 2016, fol­low­ing three days of talks with the se­nior mem­bers of the Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) over the week­end. PCB of­fi­cials are ex­pected to re­turn to Qatar in early Septem­ber when a fi­nal de­ci­sion will be taken. "We want some big in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments here," Khan said. "This is a good ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­body. It's good for Qatar, it's good for cricket." He added that "big play­ers, big names" would take part in the tour­na­ment. The PCB is look­ing for a venue af­ter its first choice of the United Arab Emi­rates gave pri­or­ity to a sep­a­rate tour­na­ment in­volv­ing for­mer play­ers. De­tails of the Su­per League tour­na­ment have yet to be fi­nalised, said Khan, but there will be at least five teams.

Most of the play­ers are ex­pected to be from Pak­istan but Khan added they would be look­ing to bring in play­ers from other ma­jor cricket na­tions in­clud­ing In­dia, Aus­tralia and Eng­land. Media re­ports from Pak­istan ear­lier this month claimed the PCB would in Septem­ber be­gin the bid­ding process for selling team fran­chises, as well as broad­cast­ing and mer­chan­dis­ing rights. The tour­na­ment would be played at Doha's Asian Town Cricket Sta­dium, which has a 14,000 seat ca­pac­ity, and it is likely all games would be day/night matches. The event should prove pop­u­lar among Qatar's huge Asian com­mu­nity. There are around 90,000 peo­ple from Pak­istan liv­ing in Qatar, a num­ber which is ex­pected to rise in the near fu­ture with the in­flux of more work­ers needed for the huge num­ber of in­fra­struc­ture projects tak­ing place in the su­per rich Gulf state.

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