The opening fixture of the tournament will be played between Punjab and Balochistan
Defending champions Federal Areas will be joined by the four provincial sides in the Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup 2019 one-day tournament, which will be held at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium from 2-12 April.
The opening fixture will be between Punjab and Balochistan, which will be captained by wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal and middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, respectively. Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan-led Federal Areas will open their title defence on Wednesday, 3 April, against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which will be captained by left-handed opener Salman Butt.
Sindh is the other side in the tournament, which will be led by right-arm pacer Umar Gul.
General Manager Domestic Cricket Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shafiq Ahmed said that the Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup was a great opportunity for players and fans of cricket in Rawalpindi, “The players who do well can come into consideration for a World Cup sport, I also request the people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to turn up in big numbers and support a top-class tournament.”
The five sides for the 2019 tournament have been chosen by the national selection committee, which is headed by Inzamamul Haq. Players who have been playing regular and consistent cricket for the Pakistan cricket team has not been included as part of the selector’s policy of providing them sufficient rest prior to the tour of England, which will immediately be followed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup 2019.
With the 15-players squad for the World Cup to be announced after the Pakistan Cup, the Mughal Steel Pakistan Cup provides a final opportunity to the cricketers to stake a claim for a place in the biggest cricket spectacle on the planet.
The tournament will carry total prize money of PKR 3.5 million with the winner collecting PKR 2 million. The losing finalist will get PKR 1 million, while player of the league matches will get PKR 25,000 each.
The best batsman, bowler, all-rounder and player of the final will receive PKR 100,000 each.
The PCB, as part of its strategy to further give incentives in domestic cricket, has enhanced the match fee of each player from PKR 33,000 to PKR 35,000.