The Pakistan Super League (PSL) (Urdu: پاکستان سپر لیگ) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in Pakistan composed of 5 member clubs. Headquartered in Lahore, the PSL is considered to become the premier professional cricket league in Pakistan. The league is composed of 5 teams and the PSL regular season runs through the month of February, with each team playing 8 games; the top 4 teams with the best record will qualify for the post season (or playoffs), culminating in the championship game, the PSL Cup. Instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, the PSL is a single entity in which each team (or franchise) is owned and controlled by the league’s investors; the investor-operators control their teams as owners. The early commercial rights of franchises were sold for Rs 985 Crores ($93 million) for a span of 10 years in December 2015
Haier T20 League
Main article: Haier T20 Cup
The history of the Pakistan Super League begins with the end of its predecessor league, the Haier T20 League (known previously as the ABN-AMRO T20 Cup, RBS T20 Cup and Faysal Bank T20 Cup). The Haier T20 League began in the 2004–05 season and established itself as the premier professional cricket league in Pakistan with 14 member clubs, of which 13 were located in Pakistan and 1 in Afghanistan. Pakistan was one of the first country to form a domestic T20 cricket league. The T20 Cup was awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season. Of the 9 played seasons, the Sialkot Stallions were the most dominant team winning the championship a total of 6 times. The 2015–16 season was the final season of the Haier T20 League in which the Peshawar Panthers defeated the Karachi Dolphins by 7 wickets at Rawalpindi.
In September 2015, the Pakistan Cricket Board officially announced the launch of the Pakistan Super League. Former captains Wasim Akram and Rameez Raja signed up to become brand ambassadors of the PSL for the next three years. After several years of planning, the league will officially begin on February 4, 2016, in the United Arab Emirates, after the suspension of operations of its predecessor organization, the Haier T20 League. The PSL immediately took the place as one of the leagues that contested for the annual T20 cup. The PSL will begin with five teams (all based in Pakistan) and, through a series of expansions over the next several seasons, will expand to a 10 team league with two conferences. The league draws many highly skilled players from all over the world and currently has players from approximately 11 different countries. Pakistanis have historically constituted the majority of the players in the Haier T20 League – in the PSL however there is a higher percentage of Asian and European players. The league uses the draft system for player recruitment, similar to that of the National Football League in the United States, as opposed to the “auction” used in other T20 leagues. The PSL’s official logo and anthem of the first season were launched on 20 September 2015 in a launching ceremony in Lahore. The anthem, Ab Khel Ke Dikha, was sung by Ali Zafar and the PSL logo was revealed by 3Di. The ceremony was attended by current and retired cricketers, as well as Pakistani celebrities.