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Shifting PSL 6 matches to UAE likely to cause major problems for PCB

The remaining matches will resume on June 1 with the final scheduled for June 20

Shifting PSL 6 matches to UAE likely to cause major problems for PCB PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to face numerous issues, if it decides to shift the remainder of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six, which is set to take place in Karachi, to United Arab Emirates (UAE).

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

According to details, all six franchises had asked the PCB, few days back, to shift the remaining matches to UAE bearing in mind the rising Covid-19 cases in Pakistan. They added that Sindh government is already under pressure due to the pandemic and holding matches in Karachi won’t be ideal. Further discussion on the matter will take place in a virtual meeting on Saturday or Sunday, this week. 

It must be noted that a similar request was made before PSL 5, as well, but it was rejected by the PCB.

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According to sources, on Tuesday, PCB officials met National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) where consensus was reached on shifting matches to UAE. After official statement, squads will travel to UAE through chartered flights. However, PCB is yet to contact the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) in this regard.

Holding PSL matches in UAE will significantly increase PCB’s costs due to hefty stadium rent, while the hotel rates will also be double as compared to Pakistan. The hot weather is also likely to pose a problem for the players and management.

Obtaining visas for players will also be an issue as UAE has placed a travel ban due to Covid-19. Recently, the Afghanistan team had to play series against Ireland, without their star players, due to the same problem.  

Pakistan team also has to travel to England, after PSL, so a major change in the PSL schedule is also not possible.

Despite the obstacles, one positive out of this would be the arrival of foreign players as they would be more comfortable travelling to UAE, as compared to Pakistan, due to stable Covid-19 situation.

Sources have also revealed that Restrata, company which is likely to take care of bio-bubble arrangement for PSL, has already started its work despite absence of a formal agreement. Their team had visited Karachi, twice, inorder to do recce ahead of the event during the past few weeks. They went to the National Stadium and the hotel, where teams will stay, during their trips.

Even if matches are shifted to UAE, Restrata won’t have any major issues as it has an office in Dubai. It also has experience of working with IPL, held in UAE, last season.