Wednesday May 19 2021

PSL 6 postponed for indefinite period: sources

The Pakistan Super League's (PSL) sixth edition has been postponed indefinitely, sources informed Geo News, months after it was put off due to players and staff testing positive for coronavirus despite being inside a biosecure bubble.

The development came after there were reports of the remaining matches to be held in the United Arab Emirates, with the Gulf country's cricket board receiving clearance from its government to hold the tournament.

The meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) with the franchises is underway following which further details will be available, sources said, adding the decision was taken due to operational hurdles.

The franchises had to bear a heavy cost, and there were issues of players and staffers being inoculated with the coronavirus vaccine, sources said.

The PCB claims that Chief Executive Wasim Khan, who is in England, was chairing the meeting, and the board's chairman Ehsan Mani was in Lahore despite the pressing issue.

However, PCB's 7-member team, led by the board's chief operating officer Salman Naseer, was in Abu Dhabi to finalise the tournament's preparations.

Earlier in the day, the scheduled departure of players for the UAE to play the remaining matches of the tournament's sixth edition from Pakistan had been delayed, sources said.

The teams and players received an advisory from the management regarding the current coronavirus situation, saying there would be no departure on May 22 as per the schedule.

The PCB had directed the players not to check-in to the hotels for quarantine as of now, sources revealed, adding the board was facing operational, coronavirus vaccine, and issues related to travel protocols.

Last month, PCB had announced the remaining matches of the HBL PSL 6 would be held from June 1.

The sixth edition of the Pakistan Super League was postponed in March due to rising COVID-19 cases among the players and officials involved in the tournament.

“Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the Pakistan Super League 6 with immediate effect," read a statement from the PCB.

It said the decision was made after seven cases were reported in the competition, which had started on 20 February.

PCB CEO Wasim Khan, during a news conference, had said they had to put the PSL on hold as the cricket body had not “effectively” enforced the standard operating procedures required for a biosecure bubble.

Wasim had assured fans that the PCB would look for “other windows” to hold the remaining matches of the PSL 6 at a later date.

“What’s taking place right now is that we are carefully and slowly exiting players from our environment so that we can safely get them out and they can start to travel wherever they need to travel,” Wasim had explained.

“It is firmly our belief that we will find a window and finish those [remaining] matches,” the PCB CEO had said.