When the Pakistan Cricket Board conceived the idea of PSL, it’s primary objective was to bring back international cricket which was suspended since 2009 when terrorists attacked a Sri Lanka cricket team bus in Lahore. Gradually foreign teams started touring Pakistan and after hosting the first season of PSL in the United Arab Emirates, the PCB brought back its premier T20 league back in the country.

“The league has now grown bigger and stronger by the year,” PCB Managing Committee’s head Najam Sethi told the AP. “The credit for this goes not just to PCB but also to the passionate cricket-loving Pakistanis who have thronged to the stadiums for the eighth edition (of PSL).”

Sethi, who is also a renowned journalist and had previously served as chairman of the PCB, was reappointed at the helm of the PCB late in December last year in place of Ramiz Raja.

Sethi recognizes Pakistan’s economic problems along with political unrest, but believed the PSL could still turn into a brand in its own right. Sethi claimed at times, during the eighth edition of the tournament, it attracted more eyeballs around the world than the India Premier League.

“At halfway stage of PSL8 I was told by my team that our digital numbers had hit 150 million. The figures in IPL, during the same stage of the tournament, were 130 million,” Sethi said.

The PCB head said he was “shocked” when he was told that only $100,000 had been set aside for the branding of PSL in late December. Sethi increased the money to $1 million after convincing the six franchise owners to bear half the amount.

“I went to Dubai and saw all the drafts (of branding),” Sethi said. “I went through all the technical details, approved it and increased the branding budget to 10 times.”

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