PSL-6 likely to be postponed again amid COVID, operational challenges

LAHORE: The remaining matches of the HBL Pakistan Super League season six are most likely to be postponed amid COVID-19 and operational challenges.

These operational issues have forced Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to reconsider its decision to hold the remaining matches in June, the only vacant window for the board this year. The cricket board had called a meeting of PSL franchises to finalize the venue.

In a press release post-meeting, PCB CEO, Wasim Khan said that the cricket board has updated the team owners that the PSL had received approvals from the relevant authorities in the UAE. However, some clarifications on certain exemption requests are still awaited, which are expected at some stage on Thursday.

He said, “The team owners agreed if we do not receive clarity by Thursday afternoon, then they’ll have no other option but to request postponement of the remaining 20 matches.”

In the meantime, the liaison with the UAE government and the Emirates Cricket Board will continue, as they are equally keen for the event to be held in the UAE, he added.

The event was supposed to resume from June 1, and conclude on June 20, either in Karachi or in Abu Dhabi. The board had then received a green light from the UAE government, with a condition that everyone involved in the tournament must be vaccinated.

With the league less than two weeks away, the vaccine condition has put PCB in a tight spot as it is difficult to manage the vaccination and mandatory quarantine condition for every individual within this short span. The major hurdle in the vaccination process is due to Indians involved in the broadcasting crew.

On the other hand, holding the remaining tournament in Karachi is also very difficult due to a rise in the COVID-19 in Sindh. During the last 24 hours, the province logged more than 2,000 cases for the first time since November 2020.