The Pakistan Super League sixth edition (PSL 2021) was suspended in March 2021 after multiple players contracted the COVID-19 virus during the tournament, which happened due to willing breaches of bio-bubbles by players and franchise owners.
This led to a huge embarrassment for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which conducted a high-level inquiry. After much mulling and due to increasing COVID numbers in Pakistan, all the franchises requested PCB to move the tournament’s remaining matches to the United Arab Emirates in June.
A board official has also said that the National Command and Operations Authority (NCOA), which oversees the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan, had also advised the PCB against holding the matches in Karachi.
Only Option Left With PCB Is To Hold The Remainder Of PSL 2021 Matches In Karachi After UAE Travel Ban
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was in talks with the Emirates Cricket Board to seek permission from the UAE government to hold the remaining 20 matches of the PSL in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from June 1. This was also suggested by the NCOA and by the franchise owners as well, given that the first 3-4 editions of the tournament were held totally in the UAE.
UAE has also hosted a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2014 and then hosted the entire IPL 2020 with much success and is the reserve venue for the T20 World Cup 2021 if ICC decided to move it from original hosts India, due to them facing COVID surge.
“The PCB was expecting things to be finalised in next 24 hours due to the Eid holidays in both countries but now with this ban imposed by the UAE government till May 12, the only option available to the PCB is to hold the matches in Karachi,” a source said on Monday.
“There is one more suggestion to have it in Sri Lanka if not in UAE, but that will require a lot of logistical and other issues and will also be dependent on clearance from the government,” another source said.
However, former Pakistani batsman Javed Miandad is against the resumption of the PSL 2021 matches.
I Think This Is Not The Right Time To Be Playing Cricket: Javed Miandad Against Resumption Of PSL 2021
Batting legend Javed Miandad has a totally different opinion on the resumption of PSL 2021. He felt that it was not the right time for the league to commence again, while the focus should be on saving lives from the deadly Coronavirus.
“I think this is not the right time to be playing cricket when all the focus is on saving lives from this dreaded virus. This is not the time to play cricket, it is the time to save lives. In these times of crisis, we should be more focused on saving lives rather than playing cricket.
The whole world has been affected by the coronavirus. India, where the world cup was supposed to take place, is also severely affected by the epidemic,” Miandad noted.
As per one source, PCB was reluctant to have the matches in Karachi or anywhere in Pakistan given the experience of last March when the league had to be postponed due to a sudden surge in COVID cases among players and officials.