PCB Postpones PSL 2021 Following Surge In COVID-19 Cases
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PCB Postpones PSL 2021 Following Surge In COVID-19 Cases

Pakistan Super League 2021
Pakistan Super League 2021

Pakistan Super League 2021 which is in its 6th season has seen a surge of COVID-19 cases as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to halt and postpone the ongoing tournament.

Pakistan Super League 2021 was meant to be played at four venues this year, however, due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the PCB decided to hold all 34 matches in Karachi and Lahore. The first leg of 20 matches is being played at the National Stadium in Karachi until March 7 and the following 10 league games and four playoff matches are scheduled for Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. Only 14 games were completed in the 34-match tournament.

Shaheen Afridi celebrates a wicket in Pakistan Super League 2021...pcb
Shaheen Afridi celebrates a wicket in Pakistan Super League 2021 (Photo: PCB)

Pakistan Super League 2021: Fawad Ahmed And Tom Banton Tested Covid-19 Positive While Wahab Riaz And Darren Sammy Breached BioSecure Bubble

But all this preparation went in vain as three players- Fawad Ahmed, Tom Banton (who revealed his positive test publicly on Wednesday) and another Islamabad United player – and one support staff member with the Karachi Kings (Kamran Khan) testing positive for Covid-19 have led to concerns.

England batsman Tom Banton has tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
England batsman Tom Banton has tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan. (Source: Twitter/ Getty Images)

Now only the positive cases, there were breaches also reported of the bio-bubble prepared by the PCB. Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz and Daren Sammy had met their franchise owner, who was not part of the bubble.

It was also reported that the duo reintegrated with the other members of their squad without following the proper bio-secure protocols. Peshawar Zalmi was allowed to play them after they refused to take the field against Quetta Qalandars without these two players. Players’ families also joined the bio bubble without spending time in quarantine and proper testing and were seen mingling with players in the stands at the National Stadium in Karachi.

Pakistan Cricket Board Decided To Postpone PSL 2021 Immediately After 7 Players Tested Positive For Covid-19

According to details, seven players and one support staff official had tested positive for the dreaded virus which led to question marks over PCB’s bio-secure bubble arrangements and reservations from foreign players. Following a meeting with the team owners and considering the health and since the wellbeing of all participants is paramount, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to postpone the tournament with immediate effect.

Fawad Ahmed....PCB
Fawad Ahmed. (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/Getty Images)

“HBL PSL 6 POSTPONED. PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan, Director – Commercial and Babar Hamid, will hold a media conference at the National Stadium at 3pm to provide further updates,” PCB tweeted while confirming the news.

Pakistan-born Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed was tested positive for the coronavirus before the game between Islamabad United and Quetta Gladiators on March 1. The game was thereafter postponed to March 2 after initially being deferred until 9 PM on Monday.

In Pakistan Super League 2021, Karachi Kings, Peshawar Zalmi, Islamabad United, and Lahore Qalandars have 6 points each while Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators have 2 points each. Mohammed Rizwan is the leading run-scorer while Saqib Mahmood is the leading wicket-taker.

Pakistan Super League 2021 has seen the participation of several star players like Babar Azam, Colin Ingram, Chris Gayle, Faf Du Plessis, Ben Cutting, Joe Denly, David Miller, Ravi Bopara, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Wahab Riaz, Shoaib Malik, Alex Hales, Imran Tahir, Carlos Braithwaite, Chris Lynn and Shahid Afridi among others.