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PCB faces race against time over remaining PSL 6 matches

The situation is complicated at the moment and things will only get clear after the Eid holidays

PCB faces race against time over remaining PSL 6 matches PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is facing a race against time with regards to holding remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six.

The PSL 6 was postponed after multiple Covid-19 cases, among players and support staff, on March 4. The remaining matches are bound to resume on June 1 with the final scheduled for June 20.

Initially the remaining matches were supposed to take place in Karachi but, later, all six franchises asked the PCB to shift the event to UAE bearing in mind the rising Covid-19 cases in Pakistan.

The PCB had written a letter to the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), regarding the aforementioned matter, but have not received any response as yet. If the UAE government doesn’t give permission for holding matches in its territory by May 16, then PCB will have no choice but to look towards other options.   

There is already a ban on Pakistanis travelling to UAE, imposed on May 12, which is why the PSL participants will have to quarantine for 10 days, even if special permission is given for the event. Due to shortage of time, there is also a suggestion to hold two matches in one day but the hot weather in UAE will make it a challenging task to accomplish, especially for the players.

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The franchises are also concerned about increase in costs, which would result from shifting matches to UAE, related to chartered flights and hotel but, having asked to PCB to take this step, they are unlikely to offer strong resistance in this regard.

Despite the hurdles, PCB is already preparing for the event and has even sent a seven-member team to UAE inorder to oversee the arrangements incase permission is given. Abu Dhabi is currently the top contender to hold the matches due to strict Covid-19 protocols.

If things don’t go according to plan, with regards to shifting matches to UAE, then PCB will consult the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), once again, after Eidul Fitr holidays over holding matches in Karachi. Although, that would significantly reduce chances of the event taking place.  

The situation is complicated at the moment and things will only get clear after the Eid holidays.

There is also lack of leadership within the PCB, at the moment, as junior officials are unable to effectively deal with the situation. It must be noted that Chief Executive Wasim Khan is currently working from his home in England.