LAHORE  -   Ali Tareen, owner of sixth team of Pakistan Super League (PSL) Thursday said that his team will play a big role in the promotion of cricket in Southern Punjab providing an ideal platform to youth of the area to showcase their talent.

The Multan Consortium led by Ali Tareen has won the franchise rights for the sixth team of the PSL, Multan Sultans, by exceeding the reserve price. The bidding process of the sixth team took place at the Gaddafi Stadium and rights have been awarded for seven years. The reserve price set by PCB was $5.21 million per annum for a period of seven years. This reserve price has been exceeded by the bid winners.

Talking to the reporters here on Thursday after buying franchise rights of sixth team, Multan Sultans. “We will be finding talent from all the districts of the region (South Punjab) and the most deserving will be given the chance to represent South Punjab in the PSL.”

To a query, he said that the team is a gift to the people of Southern Punjab and if PCB permits, they will continue with the same name or may consider changing its name but surely retaining Multan with it. “Presently, we are working a lot on the overall development of cricket in South Punjab and under our cricket development programme, we are planning to set up a cricket academy in every district besides lending support to club cricket. Now the task will become easy for us as we own a PSL team which will also supplement our efforts for the uplift of the game,” he added.

Replying to another query, he lauded the leadership qualities of Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani saying, “Ehsan Mnai rendered meritorious services in the International Cricket Council (ICC) and he will take the PSL to new heights besides infusing a new life in Pakistan cricket.

“It is our request to the PCB to make PSL more effective for Pakistan cricket as the league is not only a way to produce entertaining cricket, it is also a perfect platform for promising players to exhibit their talent and potential around the globe,” said Ali Tareen.

He said the PSL span should be expanded and this forum be utilized to encourage young talent. “This mega event should not be restricted to the PSL only, instead there should be another tournament of PSL for local players representing different regions of the country and in a similar way, women tournament should also be organised as all such measures can further enhance the image and importance of PSL in years to come,” he said.

“We have come forward in the passion of the game, not for business, with eight matches of PSL taking place in Pakistan, revenue earning cannot be that attractive and with PSL being played in Pakistan, it will be profit-making venture for the team owners,” Ali Tareen said.