The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday unveiled the 2020-21 domestic events calendar which it said will provide "maximum opportunities for the best domestic performers to display their talent and stake their claim in the franchise and national sides".
The PCB has decided to hold First XI matches of the National T20 Cup and Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament, and National U19 One-Day Tournament on a double-league basis. "This will guarantee each side a minimum of 10 league matches in the three white-ball competitions before the top four sides in the senior events will progress to the semi-finals, followed by the final, and the top two sides in the juniors' event progressing to the final," stated a PCB media release.
The National T20 Cup will be the curtain raiser for the season, with matches being held in Multan and Rawalpindi from September 30 to October 18, while the National U19 One-Day Tournament will be played in Lahore, Muridke and Sheikhupura from October 13 to November 2
The National T20 Cup and the National U19 One-Day Tournament have been scheduled at the start of the season to enable all the top performers to have the opportunity to attract interest from the franchises prior to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2020 draft in November.
The Pakistan Cup One-Day Tournament will be played from January 8-31, after which the domestic season will conclude with the PSL 2021, starting in February.
All four-day first-class matches will start from October 25 and the event will conclude with the five-day final starting on January 1. Second XI three-day matches will be played from October 18 to December 13.
"Due to Covid-19 precautions, travel for players and officials will be restricted for all Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches during the 2020-2021 season, resulting in all matches being played at grounds in Karachi. In addition, staging the tournament in Karachi will help mitigate the risk of bad weather conditions, such as fog and dew, seriously intervening in matches at that time of year," stated the PCB.
Director - High Performance, Nadeem Khan: "In the uncertain Covid-19 situation, I am pleased that we have been able to put together a complete domestic cricket schedule, which is challenging but will contribute significantly in getting the best out of all the players that, in turn, will uplift the quality and standard of our home cricket.
"There has been a strategy and vision behind preparing this schedule, and the most notable is the increase in number of white-ball matches at the senior and age-group level. This has been done after taking into consideration our teams' current international performances and rankings in white-ball cricket as well as to looking into the future, while also providing optimum chances to the deserving and budding cricketer to thoroughly show their mettle and impress the national selectors," he added.