KARACHI: Peshawar Zalmi, one of the six teams of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), on Wednesday named Arab News Pakistan as its international media partner for the tournament.
Peshawar Zalmi represents Peshawar, the capital of the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The other teams come from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Quetta and Multan.
The seventh edition of the competition will start in Karachi on Thursday and run through Feb. 27.
Arab News has been Peshawar Zalmi’s media partner for the PSL since the tournament’s fifth edition in 2020.
“We have chosen Arab News as our international media partner for last two seasons and I am glad to renew this for the 2022 edition,” Javed Afridi, the owner of Peshawar Zalmi, announced on Wednesday.
“Arab News is not only one of the readers’ first choice in the Middle East but it’s Pakistan digital edition is among the most popular in South Asia due to its excellent coverage and positive reporting.”
Launched in 2018, Arab News Pakistan is an edition of Arab News, the biggest English-language daily in Saudi Arabia and a leading newspaper in the Middle East.
“We are happy to have partnered with Peshawar Zalmi and hope that the franchise will win the final of the seventh edition,” Asia bureau chief of Arab News, Baker Atyani said. “The team has been showing tremendous performance.” .
He added that the PSL had played a major role in promoting cricket in Pakistan and abroad: “PSL deserves to be credited for the return of cricket to Pakistan, and Peshawar Zalmi is at top of the list because it was its owner Javed Afridi who led the campaign to persuade foreigner players to play in Pakistan.”
“We wish Peshawar Zalmi best of luck for the upcoming tournament, and PSL supporters a very exciting and a successful season.”
Pakistan had largely been starved of international cricket since a 2009 attack on a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore, which killed eight Pakistanis and wounded six players and a British coach. The incident forced Pakistan to play home matches in the United Arab Emirates, with foreign players refusing to play on Pakistani soil.
But the unprecedented popularity of PSL, which brought 40 foreign players to the country in 2019, is seen as pivotal in changing the global cricket community’s opinion of Pakistan’s ability to host international matches.
Over 80 million people, roughly 70 percent of Pakistan’s TV-viewing public, tuned in to watch the final game of the series last year.
The PSL has been a huge success, even though many of the matches in the first five editions had to be played in the United Arab Emirates due to security risks. In 2020, all matches of the series were played in Pakistan for the first time, but the final in March was delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and finally played in November before an empty stadium.
Last year, the tournament was postponed after the first 14 matches due to a surge in coronavirus cases in March, and rest of the games, were played in June in Abu Dhabi.
In the final, Multan Sultans defeated Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs to lift the trophy.