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The Pakistan Super League’s eighth edition (PSL 8) is on the verge of ending. And, to close up, the chairman Najam Sethi was spotted in a conference expressing his appreciation towards all those involved. He acknowledged their efforts in turning the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 into an enormous success.
The tournament began with a grand ceremony in Multan on 13 February and lasted for a total of 34 days, during which Multan hosted five matches, Karachi and Lahore hosted nine each, and Rawalpindi hosted eleven. In addition, the PCB, in collaboration with the HBL PSL 8, organized three Women’s League exhibition matches in Rawalpindi on 8, 10, and 11 March, which featured the participation of ten foreign players from seven countries.
During a news conference held prior to the final match between Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans, Mr Najam Sethi expressed his gratitude towards all the stakeholders, including the federal and provincial governments and law enforcement agencies, for their unwavering support in making the HBL PSL 8 a success. He highlighted the importance of collaboration between all arms of the state in showcasing the tournament as a national asset.
He further praised the foreign players for their participation in the league, stating that the HBL PSL provides quality cricket and has helped in their development. Many foreign cricketers who have played in the league have gone on to graduate to the top level, which has contributed to the global brand of the HBL PSL.
He also acknowledged the participation of women players in the Women’s League exhibition matches in Rawalpindi and expressed his delight at their expressed desire to come back and play in Pakistan.
Mr Sethi congratulated his team for their successful management of the logistical and operational support at the four venues and praised the high-class opening ceremony held in Multan. He attributed the success of the HBL PSL 8 to the support received from the fans, who have turned the tournament into a global brand with record ticket sales, record crowd turnout, and record digital and TV ratings.
He also emphasized the high quality of cricket played during the tournament, with seven centuries scored and the record for the highest match aggregate in the world is set. Mr Sethi also highlighted the contribution made by the HBL PSL 8 towards the country’s economy, creating job opportunities and boosting tourism, the hotel industry, airlines, and road travelling business growth.
Finally, he discussed plans to upgrade the facilities at the six stadiums in Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Peshawar to bring them up to par with the world’s standards. He also mentioned talks with the relevant authorities in Karachi and the government in Lahore to establish five-star hotels with stadiums to reduce disturbances for the public during matches.
Najam Sethi’s statements on close up of PSL 8
Addressing a news conference ahead of Lahore Qalandars-Multan Sultans final, Mr Sethi said: “I want to thank all the stakeholders, including federal, provincial governments and law enforcement institutions for their unwavering support and making the HBL PSL 8 a success. The way all the arms of the state worked together and provided their help and support to the PCB underscores how this tournament is now considered as a national asset.
“I also want to thank the foreign players for their participation in the tournament. The foreign players want to come and play in the league as it provides them quality cricket and has helped in their development. Many foreign cricketers who have played here have gone on to graduate to the top-level, because of which the HBL PSL has emerged into as a global brand.
“All the women players who were here for the women exhibition matches in Rawalpindi have expressed their desire to come back and play in Pakistan, which is a great advert for our country.
“I also want to congratulate my team for the smooth delivery of the event. It is no mean task to flawlessly deliver logistical and operational support to the tournament of such a magnitude at four venues. We were managing two production teams and many a time the turnaround time was very tight, but their undying spirit and resolve made sure that we never faced any obstacles.
“Despite all the logistical challenges, we were able to conduct a high-class opening ceremony in Multan. Never before has an opening ceremony being delivered of such great quality. When I took over the affairs, no preparation had been made for the opening ceremony. I personally looked into the affairs and made sure that we continue to build the brand of the HBL PSL through sheer hard work and dedication.
“It took us two months from planning till execution to deliver the HBL PSL, and I have no qualms in claiming that we can deliver the HBL PSL in any part of the world, because of the knowledge and expertise we possess.
“The HBL PSL would not have been this successful without the love and support that it has received from the fans. We had turnout of 80 per cent on average and at times, it went to 95 per cent. It is their support that has turned the HBL PSL into a global brand. The new levels of interest and following has seen record ticket sales, record crowd turnout and record digital and TV ratings, which has not happened before.
“The tournament was only made successful because of the great quality of cricket.
“We produced pitches that supported batting and bowling and provided perfect setting for evenly contested matches. Never before we saw as many as seven centuries being scored in an edition. Multan Sultans posted 262, the highest HBL PSL score, and the we also saw the record for the highest match aggregate in the world getting set when Peshawar Zalmi and Multan Sultans amassed 515 runs in Rawalpindi.
“There were three five-fers, joint most with HBL PSL 1, a hat-trick and top-10 bowlers included seven fast bowlers (all locals) and three spinners (all local).
“These are just phenomenal numbers.
“HBL PSL 8 also contributed in keeping country’s economic wheel moving as it created job opportunities and helped tourism, hotel industry, airlines and road traveling business grow. We have paid PKR70crore in taxes to the federal government, PKR50crore in sales taxes and another PKR50crore in provincial taxes and also helped businesses grow.
“Moving on, we will work on uplifting our stadia in Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi, Quetta and Peshawar as I feel we need to enhance the facilities to make them at par with the world. We are also in talks with the relevant authorities in Karachi and government in Lahore to make five-star hotels with the stadiums so the people don’t have to face disturbances when the matches are held.”