Ex-Pakistan pacer Akhtar keen on buying PSL franchise

Lahore, Sep 22 (IANS) Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar wants to own an outfit in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), a franchise-based T20 tournament scheduled to kick-start from February next year.

According to media reports in Pakistan, Akhtar has already met PSL head Najam Sethi and discussed the possibilities.

“Everyone is excited about PSL and so am I,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.com on Monday.

“It’s like a gift to the nation; it’s not (just) the brand of PCB, it’s the brand of Pakistan. I am interested in buying a team in the league and want to serve Pakistan cricket this way by promoting cricketers and making more Shoaib Akhtars who can bowl at 100 (mph).”

“My business partner and I are testing the waters; assessing whatever is put on table and how it suits us,” he said.

The league will have franchise-based teams from the provincial capitals – Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad – with prize money of $1 million.

Reportedly, the matches will be played at the West End Park International Cricket Stadium, Doha, Qatar.

The tournament, featuring 24 matches, is scheduled to run from February 4 to 24, a month before the World T20 in India.

Top cricketers including the likes of Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Shakib Al Hasan, Lasith Malinga and Dwayne Bravo are expected to feature in the tournament.

The PCB will be selling the players via a draft and will in all probability hold an auction for the teams.

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