LAHORE - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Friday launched the Cool & Cool presents Haier Super8 T20 Cup 2014-2015 here at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) by unveiling the event logo and introducing the bevy of tournament and team sponsors in the presence of former cricketers and the board’s top and upper tier management.

Each of the sponsors was introduced and spoke on the occasion, along with PCB director domestic cricket operations and former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam with PCB COO Subhan Ahmad’s remarks bringing the event to a close.

The leading T20 event on the national calendar and, owing to its short but enthralling format, a major draw-card amongst the spectators, as is evident from its title, contains eight of the topmost regional outfits, and shall this year be played at Faisalabad.

The Group ‘A’ contains of Sialkot Stallions (Sponsored by Zong), Peshawar Panthers (Zong), Rawalpindi Rams (P&G through its brand, Head & Shoulders) and Abbottabad Falcons (Mughal Steel) while the Group ‘B’ consists of Multan Tigers (Mughal Steel), Lahore Lions (Brighto Paints), Karachi Dolphins (Q Mobile) and Faisalabad Wolves (Zong).

The common refrain in the sponsors’ speeches was their singular commitment to cricket and providing it corporate support for its promotion and growth across the country. The sponsors invited to the podium were: Mr Javed Afridi (CEO, Haier) Mr Farhan Sanghani (Director Operations, Cool and Cool), Mr Zarak Khan (Regional Director, Zong), Khawaja Atif Riaz Sikka (Director, Brighto Paints), Mr Shakeel Ahmed, (General Manager, Mughal Steel.

PCB director domestic cricket operations Intikhab Alam said: “The tournament commences on May 11 and runs up to May 18, 2015. The top two sides from each group on the points table shall qualify for the semifinals. Two matches have been scheduled every day, the first starting at 5p.m. and the second at 9p.m. Both the semi-finals will be held on May 17, followed by the final on May 18.”

Intikhab Alam noted that each of the regions had a sponsor, and he assured each of them that the competitive nature of the event, its live telecast as well as enormous crowd participation would provide valuable mileage to the sponsors.

Subhan Ahmad too was appreciative of the corporate support that the PCB’s various sponsors have provided to the game through thick and thin. “PCB is indeed quite grateful to its sponsors; they nurtured us when the going was good, but the more important thing is that they never shied away when we fell to bad times – for no fault of the Board and its management.

“The last half a dozen years have not been kind to Pakistan cricket, not just because of the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team but also owing to a general environment of terror which thwarted PCB’s endeavours to bring international cricket back to Pakistan.

“But even in these bad times when our cricketers were reduced to nomads, as we were forced to play our cricket offshore, our sponsors kept faith in us throughout. It is because of them and also because of some sound and prudent management that we not just remained afloat, our finances always remained in the black year-on-year. Most people would not be aware that despite hosting our international ‘home’ cricket abroad, and owing to reciprocity compulsions not always against high-revenue-yield top notch outfits, we still made profit from most of the series, only breaking even in a handful and never losing a dime on any.

“On this cheerful note, I thank all the sponsors present here again for their corporate and financial backing. I am sure they are aware that by attaching their brand with Pakistan cricket they are backing a sure-shot winner,” Subhan concluded.

Haier CEO Javed Afridi unveiled the tournament logo and highlighted the importance of this Domestic Super 8 T20 Cup. He assured that Haier Pakistan would continue its support for the game development in the country. He commented that this tournament has always produced good pool of young cricketers for Pakistan team.