Remaining PSL 6 matches to be played in Abu Dhabi from June 9 to 24

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday the schedule of the remaining Pakistan Super League (PSL) 6 matches, saying they would be played between June 9 and 24 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, the PCB said there would be six double-headers, five of them to be played in the preliminary round while the sixth one would be held on June 21 when two matches — a qualifier and eliminator 1 — would be played.

The double-headers would begin at 6pm and 11pm (Pakistan time) respectively, while the single-header matches would start at 9pm, it added.

“The delayed start due to logistical and operational challenges that were beyond the PCB’s control will allow the sides sufficient time to train, practice and gear up for the biggest prize in Pakistan’s cricket calendar,” the statement said.

Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars — who will kick off the tournament’s Abu Dhabi leg with the 15th match on June 9 — started training on Wednesday evening while the rest of the franchises will start training from today.

“Players and player support personnel, who have completed the mandatory seven-day room isolation and returned three negative tests, are allowed to integrate with their sides and participate in training sessions,” the PCB said.

After the tournament, players and support personnel of the national team will fly to the United Kingdom on June 25, the cricket body said.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said the cricket body was “delighted” to be able to announce the complete schedule after taking “decisive actions in the face of ongoing pressures and major challenges outside of our control over the last 10 days”.

“There was a consensus between the PCB and the franchises that it was imperative to complete the remaining matches in 2021 so that we have a clean 2022 for PSL 7. Now, after overcoming all obstacles through due diligence and careful planning, I believe we have collectively achieved the desired objective that was set in March following the postponement,” the statement quoted Khan as saying.

The PCB official regretted the shifting of the tournament to the UAE but assured fans that “continuing to give [them] access to watch our emerging talent play alongside and against some of the world’s very best will remain a priority for the PSL 7 in 2022.”

Reacting to the development, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Aref Al Awani, credited “our long and excellent relationship with the Pakistan Cricket Board and Ehsan Mani” which he said had “won our government’s support with all the necessary exemptions and approvals”.

The PSL 6 was cut short in March after seven people participating in the tournament tested positive for Covid-19.

At the time, the cricket board had said the decision had been taken out of consideration for the health and well-being of all participants in the tournament.