Najam Sethi addresses a press conference at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium Friday. LAHORE: Lahore Qalandars will face-off with Multan Sultans in the opening match when the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League commences at picturesque Multan Cricket Stadium on February 13 (Monday). Three women’s “festival games” have also been slotted midway into the PSL — in Rawalpindi on March 8, 10 and 11 — involving local and overseas players in what will be a case of the PCB testing the waters ahead of a full-fledged women’s T20 league in the future. The schedule of the PSL 8 was unveiled by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Najam Aziz Sethi at a press conference here on Friday. “I am delighted to formally confirm the schedule of the PSL 8, which will allow the Pakistan Cricket Board and the six franchises to start firming up and finalising their respective event plans and objectives. The PSL 8 will be a massive event for the PCB, taking place at the four iconic venues with the world’s best T20 cricketers in action. We aim to make the PSL bigger, better and stronger than ever before with the overarching ambition to make it the first-choice event for leading T20 cricketers,” Sethi said. More than 36 foreign players representing 10 T20I playing countries will be in action in the 34-day, 34-match tournament. The PSL schedule was put in place in December, before Sethi replaced Ramiz Raja at the helm of the PCB, and the new PCB Management hasn’t made any major change to it. The schedule has been designed to allow four sides (Qalandars, Sultans, Karachi Kings and Islamabad United) to play five matches each in front of their supporters, one against each of the other teams. Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi won’t have any home games since their home venues are not ready to host high profile games, but the plan is to get them ready by PSL 2024. Sethi had earlier said that Quetta would be included in the list of venues for the first time, but the city has been omitted from the fixtures’ list released on Friday. Sethi said “logistical concerns” had led to a change of plans for the PCB. This means Qalandars will play five matches at the Gaddafi Stadium, while their other five matches will be in Multan (one) and, Karachi and Rawalpindi (two each). Similarly, Sultans’ five away matches will be in Rawalpindi (three) and, Karachi and Lahore (one each); Kings’ away matches will be in Rawalpindi (three) and, one each in Lahore and Multan; and United’s five away matches will be in Karachi (three) and, one each in Lahore and Multan. Gladiators will play their 10 league matches in Karachi, Rawalpindi (four each), Lahore and Multan (one each), while Zalmi’s fixtures will be in Rawalpindi (five), Karachi (three), and one each in Lahore and Multan. Each of the six sides will enter the PSL 8 with lots at stake. United will aim to become the most successful team with three titles, Qalandars will attempt to become the first side to win back-to-back titles and the remaining four teams will once again attempt to put a hand on the glittering silverware. This makes up for an exciting, enthralling and entertaining 34-match tournament. “I am hoping the PSL will once again live up to its expectations of unearthing and identifying future stars who will not only challenge the established household names in this edition but will go on to represent Pakistan. I would like to extend my gratitude to Habib Bank Limited, who have supported this tournament since its inception in 2016 by retaining the title sponsorship rights. I would also like to thank all our other valued commercial partners, broadcasters and franchise owners for their patronage, and hope they will continue to show faith in our pinnacle event and the PCB’s administrative vision, skills and capabilities so that we can collectively work together to enhance the image and profile of Pakistan cricket,” Sethi added. Squads (foreign player names and their categories in brackets): 1: Islamabad United — Alex Hales (England), Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan), Shadab Khan (all Platinum), Asif Ali, Fazal Haq Farooqi (Afghanistan), Wasim Jr (all Diamond), Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali (all Gold), Abrar Ahmed, Colin Munro (New Zealand), Paul Stirling (Ireland), Rumman Raees, Sohaib Maqsood (all Silver), Hassan Nawaz, Zeeshan Zamir (both Emerging). Moeen Ali (England) and Mubasir Khan (Supplementary). 2: Karachi Kings — Haider Ali, Imran Tahir (South Africa), Matthew Wade (Australia) (all Platinum), Imad Wasim, James Fuller (New Zealand), James Vince (both England) (all Diamond), Andrew Tye (Australia), Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik (all Gold), Aamer Yamin, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Akhlaq, Sharjeel Khan, Tayyab Tahir (all Silver), Irfan Khan Niazi, Qasim Akram (both Emerging). Mohammad Umar and Tabraiz Shamsi (South Africa) (Supplementary). 3: Lahore Qalandars —- Fakhar Zaman, Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Shaheen Shah Afridi (all Platinum), Dawid Wiese (Namibia), Hussain Talat, Haris Rauf (all Diamond), Abdullah Shafique, Liam Dawson (England), Sikander Raza (Zimbabwe) (all Gold), Ahmad Daniyal, Dilbar Hussain, Harry Brook (England), Kamran Ghulam, Mirza Tahir Baig (all Silver), Shawaiz Irfan, Zaman Khan (both Emerging). Jalat Khan and Jordan Cox (England) (both Supplementary). 4: Multan Sultans —- David Miller (South Africa), Josh Little (Ireland), Mohammad Rizwan (all Platinum), Khushdil Shah, Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Shan Masood (all Diamond), Akeal Hosein (West Indies), Shahnawaz Dahani, Tim David (Australia) (all Gold), Anwar Ali, Sameen Gul, Sarwar Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan (both Silver), Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah (both Emerging). Adil Rashid (England) and Arafat Minhas (Supplementary). 5: Peshawar Zalmi —-Babar Azam, Rovman Powell (West Indies), Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), (all Platinum), Mujeeb Ur Rehman (Afghanistan), Sherfane Rutherford (West Indies), Wahab Riaz (all Diamond), Arshad Iqbal, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Haris (all Gold), Aamer Jamal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore (England), Saim Ayub, Salman Irshad, Usman Qadir (all Silver), Haseebullah Khan, Sufyan Muqeem (both Emerging). Jimmy Neesham (New Zealand) (Supplementary). Peshawar Zalmi will pick their second Supplementary at the Replacement Draft. 6: Quetta Gladiators — Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) (all Platinum), Iftikhar Ahmed, Jason Roy (England), Odean Smith (West Indies) (all Diamond), Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Sarfaraz Ahmed (all Gold), Mohammad Zahid, Naveen-ul-Haq (Afghanistan), Umar Akmal, Umaid Asif, Will Smeed (England) (all Silver), Aimal Khan, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai (both Emerging). Martin Guptill (New Zealand) and Omair Bin Yousuf (Supplementary). Schedule of matches: (Afternoon matches will start at 2:00 pm; evening matches in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi will start at 7:00 pm. Evening matches in Multan will begin at 6:00 pm except for the tournament opener, which will commence at 8:00 pm) Feb 13— Multan Sultans v Lahore Qalandars, Multan Cricket Stadium Feb 14 — Karachi Kings v Peshawar Zalmi, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 15 — Multan Sultans v Quetta Gladiators, Multan Cricket Stadium Feb 16 — Karachi Kings v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 17 — Multan Sultans v Peshawar Zalmi, Multan Cricket Stadium Feb 18 — Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 19 — Multan Sultans v Islamabad United, Multan Cricket Stadium; Karachi Kings v Lahore Qalandars, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 20 — Quetta Gladiators v Peshawar Zalmi, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 21 — Quetta Gladiators v Lahore Qalandars, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 22 — Multan Sultans v Karachi Kings, Multan Cricket Stadium Feb 23 — Peshawar Zalmi v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 24 — Quetta Gladiators v Islamabad United, National Bank Cricket Arena Feb 26 — Karachi Kings v Multan Sultans, National Bank Cricket Arena; Lahore Qalandars v Peshawar Zalmi, Gaddafi Stadium Feb 27 — Lahore Qalandars v Islamabad United, Gaddafi Stadium Mar 1 — Peshawar Zalmi v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 2 — Lahore Qalandars v Quetta Gladiators, Gaddafi Stadium Mar 3 — Islamabad United v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 4- Lahore Qalandars v Multan Sultans, Gaddafi Stadium Mar 5 — Islamabad United v Quetta Gladiators, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 6 — Quetta Gladiators v Karachi Kings, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 7 — Peshawar Zalmi v Lahore Qalandars, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Islamabad United v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 8 — Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 1, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Peshawar Zalmi v Quetta Gladiators, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 9—- Islamabad United v Lahore Qalandars, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 10 — Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 2, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Peshawar Zalmi v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 11 — Pakistan Women’s League Exhibition Match 3, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Quetta Gladiators v Multan Sultans, Pindi Cricket Stadium Mar 12 —- Islamabad United v Peshawar Zalmi, Pindi Cricket Stadium; Lahore Qalandars v Karachi Kings, Gaddafi Stadium Mar 15 —- Qualifier (1 v 2), Gaddafi Stadium Mar 16 — Eliminator 1 (3 v 4), Gaddafi Stadium Mar 17 —- Eliminator 2 (loser Qualifier v winner Eliminator 1), Gaddafi Stadium Mar 19 — Final, Gaddafi Stadium.