Pakistan Junior League’s first-ever edition (PJL 1) is all set to be played from October 6th to 21st. Since Ramiz Raja took over Ehsan Mani as the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), he has been discussing strengthening the U-19 and grassroots level cricket. PJL 1 is probably the first step as he pursues his dream project.
The PSL-like T20 league will be played at Lahore’s Gadaffi Stadium. To be eligible for participation, it was decided a player must be between 16 and 19, neither elder than that nor younger than that. Deciding on mentors was probably the first measure the board took for PJL 1.
Earlier, it was announced that former cricketer Javed Miandad will assist the overall mentor panel. Later on, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Darren Sammy, Colin Munro, Imran Tahir, and Vivian Richards were named mentors, specifically the cities franchises of Mardan, Gujranwala, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur, and Gwadar franchises sequentially.
As per the requirement to apply for PJL 1 as a player, the PCB asked the interested candidates to upload their videos of batting or bowling. The medium was decided using Twitter, and it was mandatory to tag the PJL 1 official account, using the official tags as revealed.
Adding foreign cricketers was an astonishing move by the board that nobody suspected. Hundreds of foreign cricketers participated in the PJL 1 draft that took place on September 8th, but a few among them could make it to the finalized squads.
The players for each of the franchises, named Gwadar Sharks, Gujranwala Giants, Bahawalpur Royals, Rawalpindi Raiders, Mardan Warriors, and Hyderabad Hunters, were divided into three categories. These categories are named Elite Category, Premier Category, and X-factor Category.
It must be noted, in Elite Category, composing National U19 cricketers, they will be able to earn 20-22k USD, whereas, in Premier Category, owning Regional cricketers will make them 12-14k USD. The local and Foreign talent in the X-factor category can earn from 6 to 8k USD.
Moreover, PJL 1 will be played on a single round-robin basis. A total of 19 matches will be played, including the Qualifier round, which further has Qualifier 1, Eliminator, and Qualifier 2 lined up. You can click here to understand the idea of how the PJL 1 qualifier round works.
PJL 1 complete squads
Elite Category: Arham Nawab (vice-captain), Nathan Edwards (West Indies), Obaid Shahid (c), Sajjad Ali
Premier Category: Mohammad Zeeshan, Rehan Ahmed (England), Basit Ali, Ali Razzaq, Nangeyalia Kharotai (Afghanistan)
X-factor Category: Farhan Yousaf, Mohammad Tayyab Arif, Shahwaiz Irfan, Mohammad Danish, Ahmed Hussain, Gabriel Gallman-Findlay
Elite Category: Ali Asfand, Azan Awais, Uzair Mumtaz (c), Tom Aspinwall (England)
Premier Category: Mohammad Ibtisam, Ariful Islam (Bangladesh), Hasnain Majid, Shevon Daniel (Sri Lanka), Mohammad Shan
X-factor Category: Mohammad Waqas, Hasan Ali Jnr, Mohammad Aqib Asghar, Saqlain Nawaz, Hamza Nawaz, Matthew Tromp (USA).
Elite Category: Joseph Eckland (England), Danial Ibrahim (England), Haseeb Nazim, Muhammad Ismail
Premier Category: Arafat Minhas, Luc Martin Benkenstein (England), Mohammad Shoaib, Saad Masood, Shamyl Hussain
X-factor Category: Momin Qamar, Mohammad AbuBakar, Aftab Ahmed, Muhammad Zulkifal, Adnan Iqbal, Kushal Malla (Nepal).
Elite Category: Saad Baig (c), Afaq Khan, Aftab Ibrahim, Isai Thorne (West Indies)
Premier Category: Haseeb-ur-Rehman, Muneeb Wasif, James Ross Wood (England), Lahiru Dawatage (Sri Lanka), Arbaz Khan
X-factor Category: Mohammad Zubair Jnr, Moeez Rana, Hassan Iqbal, Fahad Amin, Salman Ahmed, Ali Naseer (UAE).
Elite Category: George Thomas (England), Abbas Ali (c), Archie Lenham (England), Abidullah
Premier Category: Daud Nazir, Haseeb Khan, Muhammad Nabeel, Olly Cox (England), Mohammad Farooq
X-factor Category: Mohammad Irfan, Aimal Khan, Zohaib Khan Shanzaib, Syed Tayyab Hussain, Shahzaib Khan, Burhan Niaz (Belgium).
Elite Category: Habibullah (c), Ali Ishaq, Afnan Khan, Hassan Eisakhil (Afghanistan)
Premier Category: Ali Raza, Kai Smith (England), Aseer Mughal, Amir Hassan, Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar (Afghanistan)
X-factor Category: Ziaullah, Usman Khan, Wahaj Riaz, Haroon Arshad, Naveed Ahmed Khan, Charlie Tear (England)
PJL 1 Complete schedule
The main round will be contested from October 6th to 16th, whereas the playoffs will take place from 18th to 20th of October. The much-anticipated PJL 1 final is scheduled for the 21st of October. All matches are due to take place at the iconic Gadaffi Ground. Below is the detailed schedule:
6 October – Gujranwala Giants vs Mardan Warriors
7 October – Bahawalpur Royals vs Hyderabad Hunters
8 October – Rawalpindi Raiders vs Gwadar Sharks; Gujranwala Giants vs Bahawalpur Royals
9 October – Hyderabad Hunters vs Gwadar Sharks; Rawalpindi Raiders vs Mardan Warriors
10 October – Bahawalpur Royals vs Mardan Warriors
11 October – Hyderabad Hunters vs Rawalpindi Raiders
12 October – Gujranwala Giants vs Gwadar Sharks
13 October – Mardan Warriors vs Hyderabad Hunters
14 October – Rawalpindi Raiders vs Gujranwala Giants; Bahawalpur Royals vs Gwadar Sharks
15 October – Hyderabad Hunters vs Gujranwala Giants; Bahawalpur Royals vs Rawalpindi Raiders
16 October – Mardan Warriors vs Gwadar Sharks
18 October – Qualifier 1 (1 vs 2)
19 October – Eliminator (3 vs 4)
20 October – Qualifier 2 (Loser Qualifier 1 vs Winner Eliminator)
21 October – Final (Qualifier 1 Winner vs Qualifier 2 Winner)
Double-headers – 3:30 pm and 8:00 PM PST respectively
All single-headers – 8:00 PM