Lahore – Sports Reporter:
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is now worried about the future of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021 as it awaits the green signal from the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) to hold the remaining matches of the league in Abu Dhabi.
Sources within the PCB said that if the PCB did not receive a response from the ECB within the next 36 hours, holding of the remaining matches of the PSL will become difficult.
“The PCB spent the entire days of Sunday and Monday waiting for a response from the ECB,” said the source. “A seven-member delegation of the PCB is in the UAE since last week in this regard.”
The source confirmed that the situation had indeed turned “worrisome”, adding that concerns were being raised on whether the remaining matches of the league will be held or not.
The PCB has finalised its operational strategy and only the node from the UAE cricket authorities is awaited.
“Squads will depart for the UAE from Lahore and Karachi,” said the source. “They will quarantine at two places after arriving in the UAE via special flights and will undergo coronavirus vaccination and testing as well.”
The source informed the TV channel that the staff responsible for broadcasting the PSL matches is also facing difficulty in gaining entry into the UAE. Since the staff comprises mostly of South Africans and Indians, citizens of the two nations are barred from entering the Emirates.
“The Emirates Cricket Board is obtaining special permission from the UAE government for the broadcast team’s entry,” said the source, adding that the PCB officials were not sure whether the staff will travel with the teams on the special flights.
“If they travel via commercial flights, [the question remains] how long will they have to quarantine?” said the source.
However, a report had previously claimed that the PCB received a green signal from the UAE authorities to hold the remaining matches of the sixth edition of the PSL there.
However, it is not clear yet whether the matches will be played in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
The UAE authorities have made it mandatory for all players and officials to undergo a 10-day quarantine.
The sixth edition of the PSL was postponed in early March after a couple of players and support staff tested positive for the coronavirus.
Only 14 matches of the tournament had been played when the pandemic forced the PCB to suspend the tournament.
Ever since then, the PCB has been hopeful of conducting the remaining matches of the league in the UAE, as social gatherings and other sports activities remain banned in Pakistan owing to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
PSL points table
The Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi led the points table with six points each.
Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars also had six points each but had played only four matches.