The PSL is on course to become the first T20 league to go head-to-head with the IPL, in 2025, the situation caused by Pakistan's packed home season in 2024-25.
As first reported by ESPNcricinfo, the schedule crunch that season is mainly because Pakistan is hosting its first ICC tournament - the Champions Trophy in February 2025 - in almost 30 years [the 1996 ODI World Cup was the last]. That forced the PCB to ink in a window between March and May for the tenth season of the PSL. The IPL's extended window in the international calendar starts in March every year, all the way to the beginning of June.
After missing out on the chance to host multi-nation cricket at home in the three previous three FTP cycles - since 2009 - because of security-related issues, Pakistan has started to host top teams in the last three years, and is set to host all Full Members apart from India in the 2023-27 Future Tours Programme. There are 27 Tests, including 13 at home, as part of the ICC World Test Championship cycles, 26 home ODIs out of a total of 47, and 27 T20Is out of a total of 56. The Tests are part of the successive World Test Championship cycles.
The surfeit of matches, however, means there will be a clash of dates when it comes to the PSL and the IPL in 2025, and the 2026 PSL will end up taking place fewer than seven months later, in December 2025-January 2026. But the 12th edition of the PSL, in 2027, will return to its normal window in January-February.
"While finalising our Future Tours Programme 2023-2027 in a tight and densely-packed cricket calendar, we have given priority to context, quality, and player workload," PCB chief executive Faisal Hasnain said in a statement. "We have also tried to find an appropriate balance across all the three formats so that these continue to co-exist meaningfully.
"I am sure that our cricket fans will be delighted to know that top-ranked and attractive sides such as Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will visit Pakistan to compete in matches for the ICC World Test Championship.
"Additionally, Afghanistan, Australia, Ireland and Zimbabwe will also tour Pakistan for the white-ball matches, which means 10 of the 12 ICC Full Members will play cricket in Pakistan during the four-year period. This is exciting."
The PCB will also host two triangular ODI series - a rarity these days - at home: with South Africa and New Zealand in February 2025, and with England and Sri Lanka in 2026.
"We are also mindful that our sides must be provided with the best preparation opportunities so that they perform strongly in ICC competitions," Hasnain said. "Accordingly, this has also been an integral part of our strategy around scheduling, as we have scheduled appropriate international matches in the lead-up to the ICC events.
"Furthermore, and in line with our vision for triangular ODI series to contribute in increasing excitement and attracting greater audiences, we have so far scheduled two tri-series in February 2025 and October/November 2026, involving New Zealand and South Africa, and England and Sri Lanka, respectively. This is also something for the fans to look forward to.
"The certainty and clarity around our home bilateral fixtures until 2027 provides us the platform to put together a robust commercial programme, so that we can optimise the exploitation of our commercial rights. This will enable us to hopefully increase our revenues and channel these back into the further development of our cricket, all across from our grassroots talent hunt to our international playing facilities."