Quetta Gladiators are ecstatic after their one-run victory against Peshawar Zalmi

The Pakistan Super League will have a new franchise in 2018 © PCB

The PCB has invited bids for a new franchise in the third season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The deadline for the submission of both the financial and technical proposals has been set for May 30, while the financial bids will open the next day.

The first two seasons of the PSL had five franchises: Lahore Qalandars, Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi. The details of the sixth franchise are yet to be revealed by the PSL management, but the league"s chairman Najam Sethi hinted that Sialkot and Faisalabad are in the fray. Both teams are major feeders in terms of T20 players in the domestic set-up. Sialkot have also won five consecutive national T20 titles previously, with a streak of 25 consecutive victories, a world record in T20 cricket.

The PCB had considered the prospect of adding a new team after the first season but a contract between the PCB and the five franchises meant the expansion could take place only after the second season.

In 2016, Sethi had floated an idea to have a Kashmir team for the second season, but it was rejected after opposition from some of the current franchises on financial grounds and the potential for controversy given Kashmir"s sensitive status vis-a-vis India. The opposition from the franchises was centered around the potential cut in their share of the central revenue pool. After the inaugural edition, over 70% of the revenue was split equally among the five franchises and the percentage would have been higher had the tournament been held in Pakistan instead of the UAE.

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