Sports

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani notes HBL PSL 6 incomplete without fans

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani notes HBL PSL 6 incomplete without fans

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani notes HBL PSL 6 incomplete without fans.

Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, Ehsan Mani, has congratulated the event staff, six franchises and all PSL commercial partners, particularly HBL, on the successful completion of HBL Pakistan Super League 6 Tournament.

However, he added that the event felt incomplete without the fans.

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani notes HBL PSL 6 incomplete without fans

The 14 Karachi-leg matches in February/March earlier this year at the National Stadium held in front of crowds.

But, the remaining 20 matches in Abu Dhabi held in front of an empty Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

That occurred as per the UAE government instructions and policies around sport events during these Covid-19 times.

Abu Dhabi also brought a change to the fortunes of Multan Sultan. They completed a fairy-tale run when they came back from fifth position after the Karachi-leg to beat three-time finalists and 2017 champions Peshawar Zalmi by 47 runs.

Apart from lifting the silverware and collecting a cheque of PKR75million, Multan Sultans also swept the individual awards.

Sohaib Maqsood walked away with the player of the final, player of the tournament and best batsman of the tournament awards; Shahnawaz Dahani lifted the best bowler and best emerging cricketer of the tournament trophies; and Mohammad Rizwan was adjudged the best wicketkeeper of the tournament and also named captain of the HBL PSL Team of 2021.

Fans: essence and spirit of any sport

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said on Saturday : “Fans are the essence and spirit of any sport. Without them, no event can be completely successful.

He said that the PCB, players and all commercial partners missed presence of the fans. But but the remaining 20 matches in Abu Dhabi held in unusual times and difficult circumstances.

Mani assured the passionate Pakistan cricket supporters to hold the next edition of HBL Pakistan Super League in 2022 in Pakistan and in front of our people.

Now, planning for next year’s event will start as early as July and by the final quarter of the year.

He hoped to share complete details with our fans so that they can start planning to attend the gathering of some of the most accomplished cricketers at one of the most followed cricket league tournaments.

It remained the fans’ overwhelming enthusiasm and support during the remaining eight HBL PSL fourth edition matches in 2019 that showcased a positive image of Pakistan.

He noted it as a catalyst for the PCB to convince Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to play Test matches in Pakistan for the first time in over a decade. Hosting the entire HBL PSL 2020 in Pakistan came next.

Delighted Mani

Nonetheless, he delighted that despite unable to attend the matches in Abu Dhabi, the fans and supporters continued to wholeheartedly back.

Besides, fans encouraged and appreciated the event, players and their favourite teams. That resulted in increased eyeballs and impressive digital numbers.

“The PCB has always valued its fans and supporters and understands their contribution to the growth of the sport.

He also took into consideration that we as a nation have collectively and successfully managed the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, he expressed confidence and optimism that all our cricket in the 2021-22 season. Therein,  New Zealand, England, West Indies and Australia will also visit Pakistan, will be played in front of our fans.

“This will surely help the PCB in attracting new audiences, whilst also creating an opportunity for youngsters to continue falling in love with this great sport.

PCB staff hailed

He expressed gratitude towards the entire PCB staff, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Emirates Cricket Board and the Abu Dhabi Government.

Mani said they worked together as an effective team and collectively overcame unexpected challenges. Both surprised to ensure that the tournament was completed without any further hassles.

Furthermore, he specifically appreciated all cricketers who once again underwent and adhered to the Covid-19 protocols put in place for their health and safety.

He said to completely understand the past 14-odd months have not been easy on our players and player support personnel.

He sincerely hope normalcy returns quickly so that they can also start enjoying their lives outside cricket during series and on tours.

Moreover, he thanked all team owners, who backed us during the planning stages of the Abu Dhabi-leg matches.

Last-minute changes to their sides disturbing

Mani acknowledged they had to make last-minute changes to their sides, which disturbed their combinations and balance.

But we all knew, clearly understood and accepted the significance and importance of completing the tournament in June.

He lauded the quality and spirit of cricket in the HBL PSL 6 from the top draw. Each team deserves a pat on the back for ensuring they played tough, but within the rich traditions of cricket.

He further said that in Multan Sultans, we had a new champion and a well-deserved one. They peaked at the right time and once again demonstrated the value and important of collective efforts in a team sport.

Lastly, he said that through our decisive actions and the successful delivery of HBL PSL 6, we have once again demonstrated that the HBL PSL remains PCB’s marquee event.

And the PCB will not only protect its integrity but will continue to work to enhance its profile and credibility.

GTV

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