The Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) 2024 season opener is set to clash with the final of the International League T20 (ILT20) in the UAE. The scheduling overlap poses complications for franchises participating in both leagues, with several Pakistan players facing potential availability issues due to their ILT20 contracts.
The ninth edition of the PSL will kick off on February 17 with a match between defending champions Lahore Qalandars and Islamabad United at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. However, the ILT20 final is also scheduled to take place in Dubai on the same day.
Five Pakistan players, including Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan, and Mohammad Amir, who are contracted to play for Desert Vipers in the ILT20, may have their availability for the final stages of the tournament compromised. Additionally, Imad Wasim, recently signed by Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, is also likely to be affected.
The scheduling conflict could also impact overseas players participating in both leagues, potentially leading to them missing either the start of the PSL or the final stages of the ILT20, depending on their contractual obligations and their franchises’ progress.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled the fixtures for the PSL, with the tournament’s final scheduled for March 18. The knockout stages will be held in Karachi for the first time since 2020, with matches also scheduled in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Multan.
Zaka Ashraf, the chair of the PCB’s management committee, expressed the board’s commitment to bringing top-notch cricket to fans across the country by hosting matches in various cities. The PCB recently secured a new broadcast deal for the 2024 and 2025 editions of the PSL, reporting a significant increase in the value of live-streaming and broadcast rights.
In addition to the PSL, the PCB announced that the National Women’s T20 Tournament will commence on January 15, featuring six regional teams. The tournament provides an opportunity for players to showcase their skills ahead of the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup later in the year.
The scheduling clash between the PSL opener and the ILT20 final has raised concerns among cricket stakeholders, highlighting the need for better coordination and scheduling to avoid such conflicts in the future.