The chances of PSL’s sixth edition resuming in the United Arab Emirates in June diminished after the UAE government announced a ban on travellers from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The travel ban will come into effect from Wednesday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was in talks with the Emirates Cricket Board to seek permission from the UAE government to hold the remaining 20 matches of the PSL in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from June 1.
“The PCB was expecting things to be finalised in next 24 hours due to the Eid holidays in both countries but now with this ban imposed by the UAE government till May 12, the only option available to the PCB is to hold the matches in Karachi,” a source said on Monday.
He said the PCB was reluctant to have the matches in Karachi or anywhere in Pakistan given the experience of last March when the league had to be postponed due to a sudden surge in COVID cases among players and officials.
A board official has also said that the National Command and Operations Authority, which oversees COVID-19 situation in Pakistan, had also advised the PCB against holding the matches in Karachi.
“Their is one more suggestion to have it in Sri Lanka if not in UAE, but that will require a lot of logistical and other issues and will also be dependent on clearance from the government,” another source said.
Pakistan’s former captain and batting great, Javed Miandad, has advised the PCB against holding the PSL’s remaining matches.
“I think this is not the right time to be playing cricket when all the focus is on saving lives from this dreaded virus,” Miandad told a cricket website.
He criticised the PCB for thinking about even shifting the PSL matches to UAE.
“This is not the time to play cricket, it is the time to save lives. In these times of crisis, we should be more focused on saving lives rather than playing cricket.
“The whole world has been affected by the coronavirus. India, where the world cup was supposed to take place, is also severely affected by the epidemic,” he noted.