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HBL PSL 5: Struggling Gladiators lodge complain over poor umpiring, scheduling

A representative of the PCB has clarified that the Quetta Gladiators franchise was briefed about the logistical and operational matters beforehand

PHOTO: PCB

The Quetta Gladiators franchise is upset with the grueling schedule and lackluster umpiring standards of the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) season five. Franchise officials have once again written a letter to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) complaining about the travel arrangements and the problems faced therein.

A representative of the PCB has clarified that the Quetta Gladaitors franchise was briefed about the logistical and operational matters beforehand. The representative further revealed that their complains about the umpiring standards have also been addressed.

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The defending champions Quetta Gladiators have not been performing up to the mark in the ongoing HBL PSL 5 after losing three consecutive matches. The Gladiators started their campaign in triumphant fashion after defeating Islamabad United last month. They faced a loss at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi but bounced back in the next match against Karachi Kings. After defeating Islamabad United at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, it seemed as though the side would cruise through the tournament. However, their fortunes took a turn for the worse.

Multan Sultans defeated the Gladiators on their home ground. This was followed by an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Lahore Qalandars, the weakest side in the tournament so far. They suffered another loss at the hands of Peshawar Zalmi on Thursday at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.

According to sources, constant travelling is taking a toll on the Gladiators’ players. They are not getting an opportunity to rest after their encounters and have to travel to a different city for their next match. During this time, many flights have faced delays due to weather problems which have resulted in massive waiting periods at the respective airports.

These delays recently resulted in a five-hour drive from Rawalpindi to Lahore. Now the team needs to get ready to face the Lahore Qalandars side on Saturday. Preparing the players mentally and physically is going to be a big challenge for the management.

According to sources, fast-bowler Naseem Shah’s injury was also the result of travel issues and a lack of rest.

The Gladiators’ management is also unhappy with the umpiring standards of the HBL PSL 5. In their encounter against Karachi Kings, batsman Babar Azam was adjudged not-out by the third umpire because of the absence of ultra-edge facility. In Thursday’s encounter against Peshawar Zalmi, Ben Cutting was out on a potential no-ball, however a wrong replay resulted in the call for a fair delivery from fast-bowler Wahab Riaz by the third umpire.