The Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday (January 8) confirmed that the 2021 edition of the PSL will begin on February 20 in Karachi with the defending champions Karachi Kings taking on the 2019 winners Quetta Gladiators. The 30-day tournament will culminate with the final on March 22.
The tournament organisers have also decided to stage the tournament only in two cities – Karachi and Lahore in order to limit the movements of all six teams due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While the first half of the tournament will be held in Karachi, teams will move to Lahore for the second half, including the playoffs.
The decision on allowing fans inside the stadium for the tournament will be taken later following consultation with the government. The 2020 edition saw the tournament being held completely in Pakistan with the playoff matches alone getting postponed due to Covid-19.
Overseas players participating in the tournament will have to arrive in Karachi with a negative PCR test and will need two more negative PCR tests following which they will be allowed to train with the squad.
“We had to make the tough decision to limit matches to Karachi and Lahore, and this decision has been taken in the larger interest of the event, participants and the country,” Babar Hamid, Director- Commercial said. “We want to limit the unnecessary exposure of the players as much as practically possible so that the players can operate in a safe and healthy environment that, in turn, will allow them to continue to entertain the fans and followers with their talent, skills and gamesmanship.
“Although we have a couple of options on the table, the PCB will continue to monitor the situation and delay the decision as late as possible on crowd attendances as for the PCB, health and lives are of utmost importance,” he further added.
The PCB also confirmed that the player draft will take place in Lahore on Sunday (January 10).