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A Pakistan’s ranger stands guard in front of the Multan Cricket Stadium before the start of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket match between Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators in Multan on February 15, 2023. — AFP

Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja Saturday warned of a “huge” loss to the board loss if the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) eighth edition matches are not held in Lahore and Rawalpindi as per schedule.

The ex-PCB head’s remarks came as he shared his opinion on the deadlock that persists between the board and the Punjab interim government over fixtures of the PSL’s eighth edition scheduled to be held in two cities.

“If security is not provided, then a big tournament cannot be held. Shifting PSL to other cities will result in huge loss,” Raja said while speaking during Geo News’ programme ‘Naya Pakistan’.

The fate of PSL fixtures in the two Punjab cities — including the final scheduled to take place in Lahore on March 19 — remains in limbo, as Punjab’s interim Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi insisted that his cabinet is not willing to back off from the security expenditures for holding the tournament.

A day earlier, Naqvi told reporters in Lahore that the Punjab government had spent Rs600 million on the PSL last year, adding “his cabinet is not ready to sanction the expenses” this time.

Meanwhile, the PCB said it will not give money to the government for security and has resolved to stand its ground on the matter after the Punjab caretaker set up demanded Rs250 million from the board.

Also speaking during the same show, Punjab caretaker Education Minister Mansoor Qadir said that arrangements for PSL this year were estimated to be Rs1.2 billion.

“The interim chief minister has reservations about spending such a huge amount. PSL demands Rs500 million, we are ready to spend Rs250 million,” he said, adding that the board has refused to give the remaining Rs250 million.

“We asked [the board] to purchase lights by giving Rs250 million, so they can use them every year,” the minister said.

He further lamented that the government is finding it difficult to provide relief to the people for Ramadan and demanded they contribute their share to provide entertainment and convenience to the public.

From tomorrow (February 26) onwards, PSL matches are scheduled to begin in Lahore and Rawalpindi, while one remaining match will also take place in Karachi on Sunday (tomorrow).

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