Shahid Afridi, ace all-rounder and one of the star attractions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for making the decision to postpone the PSL 2021 season midway due to multiple cases of players and staff members testing positive for the COVID-19.
Fourteen out of the scheduled 34 matches in the tournament have been completed. The PCB said that the decision to postpone was taken “following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and well-being of all participants”.
The first player to test positive for COVID-19 was Fawad Ahmed of Australia, who played for Islamabad United. The following day, the PCB said that two more overseas players, along with one local support-staff member – Kamran Khan of Kings – had tested positive. Then came the big name of England’s Tom Banton, who revealed on his Twitter that he has tested positive for the Coronavirus as well.
The international cricket fraternity also questioned the efficiency of the bio-secure bubble prepared by the PCB to keep the COVID-19 out. Players like Daren Sammy, Wahab Riaz were reported to break bio-bubble protocols to meet their franchise’s owner. Multiple players were seen mingling with the guests and fans who had attended the weddings and other functions at the hotel which was booked for the players.
No Planning Was Done Beforehand By The PCB Which Is Really Saddening: Shahid Afridi
Multan Sultan’s all-rounder and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was critical of PCB’s lack of planning and said that the tournament shouldn’t have been postponed and it could have been continued after taking some measures.
“No plan seemed clear regarding the PSL from the PCB. It was wrong to postpone the tournament because of the coronavirus positive cases. They should have isolated the individuals who tested positive and continued the tournament. No planning was done beforehand by the PCB which is really saddening,” Afridi said at an event in Lahore on Wednesday.
The PCB however announced that the remainder of the match of PSL 2021 will be played in the month of June and all the encounters will be hosted in Karachi, with the final to be played on the 20th of the same month.