Pakistan Cup, Hanif Mohammad Cup to begin today

By our correspondent
LAHORE: With the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24 over, the action now moves to the white-ball List A tournament, Pakistan Cup, which is all set to commence from Wednesday, 1 November across four venues in Abbottabad, Rawalpindi and Mirpur. The 31-match Pakistan Cup will have games with 45 overs a side.

Toss will be held at 0900 with the first ball to be bowled at 0930. Matches held at Pindi Cricket Stadium will be live-streamed on ARY ZAP in Pakistan and will be shown live on YouTube in overseas territories.

The Pakistan Cup will see a departure from the previous domestic structure as per which the tournament was held last season. This iteration of the Pakistan Cup will be held in accordance with the revived 2014 PCB Constitution and will feature eight teams: Faisalabad Region, FATA Region, Karachi Region Whites, Lahore Region Blues, Lahore Region Whites, Multan Region, Peshawar Region and Rawalpindi Region.

The first-round fixtures will be: Lahore Whites vs Lahore Blues at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Peshawar vs Karachi Whites at Mirpur Cricket Stadium, AJK, Peshawar vs Multan at Shoaib Akhtar Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi and FATA vs Rawalpindi at Abbottabad Cricket Stadium.

The tournament will be played on a round-robin basis with each team playing the other once after which the top four teams will progress to the semi-finals. The first semi-final will be played between the No.1 team and the No.4 team on 16 November and the second semi-final involving the second and third-placed team on the points table will take place on 17 November. The final will be held on 19 November. All these knockout matches will be staged at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

In the Pakistan Cup 2022-23 final, Central Punjab defeated Balochistan by 50 runs at State Bank Stadium, Karachi. All-rounder Amad Butt from Balochistan (with 365 runs and 19 wickets) emerged as the player of the tournament while Central Punjab duo Tayyab Tahir and Usama Mir were the highest run-getter and wicket-taker respectively.

Hanif Mohammad Cup 2023-24

The one-day tournament is also set to begin concurrently on 1 November and will be hosted in four venues in Mirpur, Faisalabad, Multan and Rahim Yar Khan. Like the non first-class Hanif Mohammad Trophy, the ten teams participating in the Hanif Mohammad Cup have been divided into two groups of five teams.

The teams set to feature in the Hanif Mohammad Trophy include Abbottabad Region, AJK Region, Bahawalpur Region, Hyderabad Region, Islamabad Region, Karachi Region Blues, Larkana Region, Dera Murad Jamali Region, Sialkot Region and Quetta Region. Top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Four stage. The team then topping the Super Four stage will be declared winners of the Hanif Mohammad Cup.

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