LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has shifted the remaining matches of the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) Pakistan Super League (PSL) season six to the UAE amid the rising Covid-19 cases in Pakistan.
According to sources, the local government has granted permission to hold the HBL PSL season six matches in Abu Dhabi.
The seven-member team, which included Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salman Naseer, Director Commercial Babar Hamid and PSL’s players’ acquisition and management Head Imran Ahmad Khan, that is present in Abu Dhabi has notified the PCB officials of the development.
The players are expected to be transported to the UAE through chartered flights. Franchises have also begun their preparations in this regard. A final decision is expected, soon, after consultations with franchise owners and taking into account the logistical issues of holding the tournament.
The matches were originally scheduled to be played from June 1 to 20.
The first round of Covid-19 testing of players has concluded, in Lahore and Karachi. After the second round of testing on May 21, players who return two negative results will be allowed to board the flight for Abu Dhabi on May 22.
The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is expected to respond to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) imminently regarding the possibility of conducting the remaining PSL 6 matches in the United Arab Emirates, reported The National.
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.
PCB is continuing with preparations for the event and has even sent a seven-member team to UAE in order to oversee the arrangements, as they wait for the final approval from UAE government. 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. This prompted the PCB to write a letter to the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), regarding the aforementioned matter.
Discussions have taken place to hold the event at one venue, either in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, in order to make it bio-secure. Commercials flights from Pakistan to UAE have been banned. Hence, PCB’s plan is to bring the players and staff via charter flights to Abu Dhabi. Upon arrival, players and team staff will undergo seven to 10 days quarantine before the tournament.