LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board has invited the country s private and government departments besides three military institutes to be part of the domestic circuit.
The PCB has initiated a restructuring of domestic cricket, and a return to the 16-team hybrid first-class model featuring both regions and departments.
The PCB has already abolished the previous six-team model after the completion of the 2022-23 season in the first week of January.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board has formally written to 27 leading departments, seeking their interest in participating in the PCB Domestic Cricket Season 2023-24, which will start in August,” the PCB confirmed through a press release. “In the letters, the PCB has not only invited the departments to confirm their participation in the upcoming season at their earliest convenience [which] can help them prepare the season s calendar but has also encouraged them to set up strong cricket sides, assuring them maximum coverage and publicity through the traditional and new media.”
In the new structure, eight regional teams and eight department teams will play in the premier first-class tournament, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Every season, the regional and department teams finishing bottom get relegated and two toppers (one region and one department) from the Grade 2 tournament will be promoted. Although the 2023-24 season effectively starts in August, the Pakistan government had given the new head of the PCB, Najam Sethi, 120 days (starting from December 21, 2022) to reset the set-up and go back to the 2014 constitution.