Ehsan Mani, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, has congratulated the event staff, six franchises and all PSL commercial partners on the successful completion of the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 tournament.
The 14 Karachi-leg matches in February/March earlier this year at the National Stadium were held in front of crowds, but the remaining 20 matches in Abu Dhabi were staged in front of an empty Zayed Cricket Stadium as per the UAE government instructions and policies around sport events during these Covid-19 times.
Mani thanked the UAE government and the Emirates Cricket Board for successfully hosting the tournament in Abu Dhabi.
“I want to express my gratitude towards the entire PCB staff, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Emirates Cricket Board and the Abu Dhabi Government. We worked together as an effective team and collectively overcame unexpected challenges and surprises to ensure that the tournament was completed without any further hassles," Mani said.
“I want to specifically appreciate all cricketers who once again underwent and adhered to the Covid-19 protocols put in place for their health and safety.
"I completely understand the past 14-odd months have not been easy on our players and player support personnel, and sincerely hope normalcy returns quickly so that they can also start enjoying their lives outside cricket during series and on tours."
Abu Dhabi also brought a change to the fortunes of Multan Sultans, who 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 in the final.
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.
Mani promised that the PSL would return to Pakistan next year and that fans would be back in the stadiums.
“I assure the passionate Pakistan cricket supporters that the next edition of HBL Pakistan Super League in 2022 will be staged in Pakistan and in front of our people," he said.
"Planning for next year’s event will start as early as July and by the final quarter of the year, I am hopeful that we may be able 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."
Mani also hoped the planned series against top international teams in Pakistan would be staged in front of crowds.
“The PCB has always valued its fans and supporters and understands their contribution to the growth of the sport. Taking into consideration that we as a nation have collectively and successfully managed the Covid-19 pandemic, I remain confident and optimistic that all our cricket in the 2021-22 season in which New Zealand, England, West Indies and Australia will also visit Pakistan, will be played in front of our fans," he said.
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