Pakistan Super League 2021 Will Be Held In UAE’s Abu Dhabi As The Remaining Hurdles Have Been Sorted Out
The remainder of the truncated 6th edition of the Pakistan Super League 2021 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 finalize 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 finalize 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 special set-up bio-bubble in Karachi, had to be halted after only 14 games were completed as cases of Covid-19 arose due to a breach of the bio-bubble.
PSL 6 Was Postponed After Completion Of 14 Games As Tom Banton And Fawad Ahmed Contracted The Dreaded Virus
The 15th game of the Pakistan Super League 2021 between Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United, had to be postponed after Australia’s Fawad Ahmed tested positive for COVID-19. Subsequently, three more cases including England’s Tom Banton were reported across teams, forcing the immediate suspension of the league.
The PCB then finalized the schedule for the rest of the Pakistan Super League 2021, 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 is 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 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.
Apart from the positive cases but there were breaches also reported of the bio-bubble prepared by the PCB. Peshawar Zalmi’s Wahab Riaz and Darren Sammy had met their franchise owner, who was not part of the bubble. Pakistan-born Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed had 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.