PSL 2021: PCB says UAE ‘preferred venue’ to complete tournament amid spike in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan

PSL 2021: PCB says UAE ‘preferred venue’ to complete tournament amid spike in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan

Karachi: The UAE has emerged as the “preferred venue” to host the remainder of the sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League, the PCB announced on Friday.

Representational photo. Image credit: Twitter/@pib_gov

Representational photo. Image credit: Twitter/@pib_gov

A recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Pakistan had forced the six PSL teams to write to the PCB last week to shift the rescheduled games from Karachi to the UAE.

After that, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formally approached the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB).

“We had an interactive and productive meeting in which we considered a number of factors,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said in a statement.

“While the UAE has emerged as a preferred venue, a number of challenges remain, which will be worked through over the coming days. We remain committed to doing everything possible to complete the HBL PSL 6,” he added.

PCB said it has also taken into account the advice from the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC).

“As the holiday period has already started in both the countries and the Pakistan men’s national cricket team has to depart for the United Kingdom on 23 June, the PCB will use this time to work with the Emirates Cricket Board to check if the event can be successfully delivered within the available time,” the statement read.

“During the holiday period, the PCB will work on a revised tournament schedule, while it will liaise with the ECB in relation to finalising playing and training facilities, hotel bookings, ground transportation and visitors’ visas.” it added.

The Board said it will also carry out “a detailed financial and risk assessment as well as cost analysis before reporting back to the franchises, who will then review before a decision on the event venue is confirmed.”

The PCB were forced to postpone PSL-6 abruptly on 4 March with just 10 out of 34 matches completed due to COVID-19 cases among players and officials.

It was later announced that the tournament would resume on 1 June, with the final slated for 20 June in Karachi.

All teams were to assemble in Karachi by 23 May and begin their mandatory seven-day quarantine.

However, Pakistan has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases recently and there is a partial lockdown in parts of the country with the government also announcing that it will reduce the number of international flights by 80 percent to help curb the pandemic.

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