By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Oct 20 (APP):Chief Executive Officer, Pakistan Cricket Board said on Tuesday it has once again demonstrated its operational capacity and capability by delivering a safe, healthy and successful National T20 Cup that enabled the elite and leading domestic cricketers to display their best performances in one of the most followed and discussed domestic cricket events ever.
Mohammad Rizwan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa won the 33-match National T20 Cup, which spread over 19 days and was staged in Multan and Rawalpindi under strict and unprecedented bio-secure protocols. Under the new points system, which was based around most effective and useful player in his team’s cause, Fakhar Zaman was adjudged the player and best batsman of the tournament, while other winners included Shaheen Shah Afridi (best bowler) and Mohammad Rizwan (best wicketkeeper).
This was the opening event of the 2020-21 domestic season with the first round matches of the three-day Quaid-e-Azam Trophy presently being played in Karachi, which will also host the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy first-class matches from Sunday, 25 October.
Wasim Khan here : “The National T20 Cup truly reflected the professionalism of the PCB medical staff and officials of the National High Performance Centre, who collectively created an environment that allowed the players to return to competitive cricket but also produce their best performances in a 19-day tournament across Multan and Rawalpindi.
“We maintained a proactive approach right from the outset of our planning. All our departments were aligned and contributed to the effective delivery of the competition. Our goal is to become one of most respected cricket boards in the world, and to do that, we must continue to demand high standards in all that we do.
“I want to thank the players and officials for committing to work with us during these testing times. Despite the odd bio-secure blip away from the ground, the players maintained their discipline and observed protocols.
“I have stated previously that cricket and covid will need to co-exist for a period of time. This event has shown us that if we provide the right environment, we can continue to bring joy to our fans by ensuring that the game continues.”
Bio-secure bubbles were created in five-star hotels, while other salient features included road travel in sterilized luxury buses and game rooms in team hotels. The on-ground provisions included sterilized players’ changing rooms along with dressed up venues, besides quality pitches.
Wasim Khan said the fans and media deserved the credit for the brand-building of the National T20 Cup.
“I want to whole-heartedly thank the cricket fans and supporters, both within and outside Pakistan, as well as the media for their significant contribution in the brand-building of this National T20 Cup. The social media engagement and traction, as well as the coverage on television and in the print media was impressive, positive, impactful and greater than any other domestic cricket event we have run.
“The eyeballs that followed live coverage of the National T20 Cup on PTV Sports were also overwhelming and encouraging, confirming the value cricket holds in this proud, lively and sporting country. I also thank our respected commentators and commercial partners, who played their part in lifting the profile of this tournament.
“For the first time, content from our domestic event was used by international media outlets and the game’s governing body, which was heart-warming. These provided further impetus to our ambitions of popularising and promoting our domestic cricket in an effort to make it meaningful, purposeful and attractive.
“These factors clearly illustrate that if all the stakeholders pull in one direction, then our reputation and credibility as a nation will only continue to be enhanced around the world.”