In a change from last season, the Pentangular Cup, played between Pakistan's provinces, will kick off the first-class season when defending champions Sind take on runners-up Federal Areas in Karachi next week.
On the same day, October 25, Baluchistan, who were at the bottom of the table last season, will start their four-day match against North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Quetta. Punjab will play their first game in Islamabad against the Federal Areas between October 31 and November 3. Each team will play the other once, with the final in Lahore from November 24 to 28.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had wanted the tournament's format revamped to avoid the lopsided nature of some of the results in the previous edition - particularly in matches involving under-strength teams like Balochistan and NWFP - but failed to convince the regional associations on the changes. The tournament's format has changed frequently since its inception in the early 1970s, with the number of teams at times going up to as many as seven.
Last season the tournament was played in March and the championship was decided on the basis of points at the end of ten matches. Sind took home Rs1 million as the Cup winners.