The PCB has ushered in a number of major changes to the domestic structure for the 2022-23 season, where 187 matches will be played across formats over five months starting August 30.
The second XI tournaments, played between six teams, will now be played on a double-league basis across formats. In the T20 tournament, each side will play a minimum of ten matches and a total of 30 matches as compared to the previous seasons when the event was held on a single-league basis with 15 matches overall. The three-day tournament that used to be played as a pathway to first-class cricket will now be played over four days [though it still won’t be a first-class tournament], and just like the T20s and the 50-over tournaments, each side will get a minimum of ten matches in a total of 30.
The domestic season will commence with the National T20 Cup, which will be held in Rawalpindi and Multan from August 30 to September 19. The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the premier first-class event, will continue to be played on a double-league basis, and will run from September 27 to November 30. The season will end with the 50-over Pakistan Cup, which will be staged in Karachi from December 10 to January 3.
The board has also rejigged the venues this season and slotted a significant chunk of the first-class and second-grade cricket in the northern part of the country, including Abbottabad, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The final stages will take place in Karachi, where a new venue – the Naya Nazimabad Stadium – is set to get first-class status.
The season will be wrapped up in January, unlike the previous seasons where domestic cricket was usually played from September to March.
“We have introduced a new concept whereby the non-first-class CA [provincial associations] Championship matches will be four-day fixtures,” Nadeem Khan, OCB’s director of high performance, said in a statement. “This will ensure the matches are well-contested and result-oriented, and the players get full opportunity to make the best of these games.
“This will also help in narrowing the gap with our first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in which only the best of the best participate. We have also tried to streamline the player development and progression. Now, a talented U-19 cricketer will not have to wait until the next year before playing in the seniors’ competition.
“I am sure that this year, we will see a few outstanding U-19 cricketers from the CCA, CA and National tournaments that will feature in the topline events, as the pathways events have been designed to lead into the main competitions.”
The PCB has completed its review of all the coaches from last season and is set to announce the appraisals soon. The teams for each association will be selected next month.