The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to postpone the ongoing sixth edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL), after multiple positive Covid-19 cases.
According to details, seven players and one support staff official had tested positive for Covid-19 which led to question marks over PCB’s bio-secure bubble arrangements and reservations from foreign players.
Quetta Gladiators’ Tom Banton and Islamabad United’s Fawad Ahmed and Lewis Gregory were among the players who tested positive.
Sources have also revealed that players relaxed after Peshawar Zalmi’s Head Coach Daren Sammy and skipper Wahab Riaz were reintegrated with the other members of the squad without following the proper bio-secure protocols. The step was taken after Zalmi refused to take the field against Lahore Qalandars without the duo.
Players’ families also joined the bubble without spending time in quarantine and proper testing. They were also seen mingling with players in the stands at the National Stadium in Karachi.
Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 with immediate effect. The decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on February 20.
The PCB, as an immediate step, will focus on the safe and secure passage of all participants, and arrange repeat PCR tests, vaccines and isolation facilities to the six participating sides.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan held a media conference at the National Stadium to discuss the tournament’s postponement.
He said that they had to put PSL on hold as they were not “effectively” able to enforce the standard operating procedures required for a bio secure bubble.
Wasim assured fans that the PCB will be looking for “other windows” to hold the remaining matches of the PSL 6 at a later date.
“What’s taking place right now is that we are carefully and slowly exiting players from our environment so that we can safely get them out and they can start to travel wherever they need to travel,” explained Wasim.
“Its firmly our belief that we will find a window and finish those [remaining] matches,” said the PCB CEO.
After this announcement by PCB, Former Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi lashes out at PSL Management.
“We — the people, media, security agencies, franchises and players — built PSL brand with sweat, blood and tears. The nation is reeling with despair and outrage at criminal negligence by this PCB Admin that has disrupted the tournament!”, Sethi tweeted.
We — the people, media, security agencies, franchises and players — built PSL brand with sweat, blood and tears. The nation is reeling with despair and outrage at criminal negligence by this PCB Admin that has disrupted the tournament!
— Najam Sethi (@najamsethi) March 4, 2021