The agreement between all six franchise owners of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the Pakistan Cricket Board over holding the entire fifth season in Pakistan – instead of foreign venues – is a big step in bringing international cricket back to the country and should be welcomed. A domestic cricket league in the country however, is only fully effective – in terms of advertisement revenues, improving the quality of homegrown talent and providing a spotlight for Pakistani cricket – if it is held in the country, not at some distant stadium in foreign lands.

The PSL has done wonders in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan and has been instrumental in popularising the T20 format in the country; where the Indian Premier League was once the only source of league-based cricket on television screens, PSL has given Pakistanis a league to call their own, to support passionately and take in its local identity. From adding new teams to increasing the pool of international stars playing the league, the PSL is a perfect example of a stable five-year growth trajectory for a stable sports business that adds to the country’s economic growth, however infinitesimally.

The gradual and well-planned improvement of the league must continue, and now that the decision to host the entirety of the fifth season in Pakistan has been taken, issues that stand in the way must be resolved urgently. Improving the quality of stadiums other than the Gaddafi in Lahore and the National in Karachi, must be made a priority; two international level stadiums for an entire season will not help resolve the many scheduling problems that the organisers are likely to face in the coming months.

Perhaps as a long-term goal, upgrading all stadiums in cities which have franchises is also important; fans can own the identity of their teams fully if they have home stadiums to build that identity in. Security of course, should be the main focus; it is better for the organisers and the government to start preparing now, in order to ensure that the quality of this season far exceeds those in the past; to regularise hosting this league in Pakistan for years to come.