The remainder of the truncated 6th edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is set to go ahead in Abu Dhabi after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that they have received all outstanding approvals and exemptions from the United Arab Emirates government. The PCB will now hold an online meeting with the franchises later today to apprise them of the situation and finalise all the details, which will be shared in due course.
“We are delighted with this development as the remaining hurdles in the staging of the remaining HBL PSL 6 matches in Abu Dhabi have been overcome and all systems are now good to go,” Wasim Khan, PCB’s Chief Executive, said.
“We are grateful to the UAE government, National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, Emirates Cricket Board and Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support and patronage in ensuring all final obstacles were removed, which has firmly put us in a position to complete our marquee event.
“The PCB, in consultation with the team owners, will now work at pace to finalise all event-related arrangements, details of which will be shared in due course,” he added.
The tournament, which originally started on February 20th in a specially set-up bio-bubble in Karachi, had to be halted after 14 games as cases of Covid-19 were traced owing to a breach of the bio-bubble. The 15th game of the tournament, between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United, had to be postponed after Australia’s Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, three more cases were reported across teams, forcing the immediate suspension of the league.
The PCB then finalized the schedule for the rest of the tournament, to be played in a stricter bio-bubble in Karachi, starting from June 1st. But the worsening Covid-19 situation in Karachi forced the franchises to write to PCB seeking that the tournament be moved out, preferably to the UAE – which has in the past successfully hosted the tournament.
However, their plans met with an unexpected objection from the UAE government which insisted everyone coming into the city/state should have taken vaccination. The PCB contended that it had no control over foreign technicians and television crew members travelling from different countries including India.
Following this, the PCB held a meeting with the Emirates Cricket Board and is understood to have given 24 hours time to the board to resolve the matters. Simultaneously, the Pakistan board officials also apprised the six PSL franchises of the developments. All parties involved later agreed to wait for 24 hours.