If reports are to be believed, the remainder of the Pakistan Super League (PSL 2021) season, which will resume in June, might be played without the overseas players given their other commitments. Postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PSL is scheduled to resume on June 1.
The PCB was quite embarrassed after multiple breaches of the bio-security bubble by franchises, players, and other officials left with multiple COVID-19 positive cases in both local Pakistan players and foreign players as well. It was also revealed that Daren Sammy and Wahab Riaz broke COVID-19 protocols to meet their franchise Peshawar Zalmi owner despite risks of the virus.
This led to the PCB forming an investigating committee of two of the best doctors, who later reported that bio-bubbles and COVID-19 protocols were repeatedly broken and ignored, as players attended wedding functions which were held in the hotel where they stayed and regularly mingled with people outside of the bubble.
Franchises Ask PCB To Call Meeting Of PSL Governing Council To Discuss Possible Absence Of Foreign Players
All the involved franchises in the Pakistan Super League have asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to call an urgent meeting of the PSL governing council to discuss the obvious fact that the majority of the overseas players, who were part of the league in February-March originally may not be available when the league resumes in June.
When the PCB postponed the league on March 4 when the tournament was being played in Karachi, only 10 matches out of 34 were completed as COVID cases surged amongst the players and officials alike.
The board has released the schedule of the remaining matches, but franchises are concerned about the availability of foreign players.
Big names such as Chris Gayle, Rashid Khan, David Miller, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Alex Hales, Chris Lynn, Dale Steyn, Chris Jordon, Muhammad Nabi, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Liam Livingstone, and many others played between February 20 to March 3 before the PCB announced the postponement of the league.
Now the PSL 2021 will clash with the English T20 league and other international matches and it is possible that the majority of the signed overseas players may not be available for PSL 6 matches. PCB has already made it clear that all players will have to serve a mandatory seven-day quarantine from May 22 in one hotel.
“The problem now is that many players from England had signed up for PSL 2021 but with the Vitality blast starting from June 9 and also keeping in mind the international commitments of the England and other teams in June franchises are in trouble,” a franchise official said.
Foreign recruits will have to choose between PSL and Vitality T20 Blast. And even teams like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and even West Indies have series lined up in June.